New York News
9:22 am
Thu March 29, 2012

McEneny Declines Party Endorsement, Won’t Seek Reelection

It's the end of an era in Albany.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

"I will not be accepting that nomination."

After 40 years in government and 20 years in the New York State Assembly, Jack McEneny has declined the Democratic Party's endorsement for another term...

"I think after 20 years, it's time.  There must be something magical about the number.  Congressman McNulty made it 20 years and Senator Nolan hit 20 years. Now I have my 20 years.  I think it's time to pass the torch."  

McEneny is an Albany fixture whose public service dates back to the Erastus Corning era.

While the party's endorsement carries weight, any enrolled Democrat can petition his or her way onto the primary ballot with enough signatures.

The Times Union reports that there are several potential successors to McEneny, including County Legislators Frank Commisso, Gary Domalewicz, Chris Higgins and Bryan Clenahan, but no clear front runner has emerged yet.  

McEneny's departure leaves two openings now in local assembly seats.  Colonie Democrat Bob Reilly announced earlier this month that he too was calling it a career after two terms in office...

"I'm not a career politician – I'm a citizen legislator.  I had a job.  I did my job.  I didn't have a career so I wasn't going to remain as a politician forever."

The T.U. reports that potential Democratic successors to Reilly include Assembly aide Kevin Frazier, County Legislators Phil Steck and Tim Nichols as well as Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry. Albany County Republicans have backed Jennifer Whalen.

Assembly majority leader Ron Canastrari says the two departures will be a huge loss for the region...

"Both Jack and Bob bring perspectives that are pretty important to the region and to the assembly.  But the institutions have eyes – we hate to see changes like that, but the process works and none of us are meant to be in this for life."      

Tristan O'Neill, WAMC News.