The latest and greatest comings and goings in the mad, mad dash to replace outgoing GOP Rep. John McHugh in upstate New York:
• Valesky: Democrats can cross off one name from the list of potential candidates thinking of giving the race a crack: state Sen. David Valesky tells the Syracuse Post-Standard that he won’t run.
• Aubertine: The other state Senator in the mix for the Dems, Darrel Aubertine, is telling reporters that he’s giving consideration to the race. However, with the state Senate in chaos right now, he may be under more pressure than ever to stay put. On the same day that Aubertine expressed his possible interest in the race, state Sen. Diane Savino said that she would “chain his leg to the chair” if necessary.
• Sullivan: Another potential Democratic candidate, John Sullivan, the former head of the state Attorney General’s Watertown office, is going to dip his toes into the water. Sullivan, a Cuomo family ally, also served as the mayor of Oswego in the late ’80s. For the Republicans, attorney Matthew Doheny is also interested.
• Scozzafava: Perhaps the most surprising development in recent days is the chatter that moderate GOP Assemblywoman DeDe Scozzafava, one of the few New York Republicans who has also run on the Working Families Party line, may be considering running for McHugh’s seat as a Democrat.
Scozzafava is known to be interested in the race, but she’s run into trouble with the hard-right rump of her party before; in 2008, the NY GOP rejected her bid to replace outgoing state Sen. Jim Wright in favor of her more conservative colleague, Assemblyman Will Barclay (who went on to be defeated by Aubertine in the special election). If she does seek the GOP nod to replace McHugh, she won’t be getting any support from the state’s Conservative Party — chairman Todd Long says that her support for same-sex marriage is a “non-starter” for his party’s endorsement.
In light of the perceived problems she’d face with her party’s base in a nomination battle, a group of Democrats has created a “Draft DeDe” site and claims to be in contact with her “close allies” to help make it happen. The most interesting thing about all this, though, is Scozzafava’s silence on the matter. Both the National Journal and PolitickerNY have both tried to get Scozzafava to verify if she’s considering a party switch, and both outlets received nothing but radio silence from her camp. If she wasn’t considering such a move, why wouldn’t she swat down the rumors immediately?