Even though the general election is only three weeks past, a race for next November is already heating up.
Three candidates are seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Chris Gibson, who is not running for re-election in the 19th Congressional District.
Assemblyman Pete Lopez of Schoharie entered the race Monday, joining John Faso of Kinderhook and Andrew Heaney of Washington in Dutchess County in the campaign.
After serving as Schoharie town supervisor, Assemblyman Lopez was elected Schoharie County Clerk. He then ran for assembly and has served in Albany for 10 years.
"If there is one thing the voters are saying this year, it is that we need to aggressively challenge the status quo," Assemblyman Lopez said in announcing his run.
"My message is that we need to elect someone who is grounded in the community to represent the hard-working people back home."
Mr. Faso served in the assembly--earlier, holding the same seat Mr. Lopez has now--and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006.
"There are clear choices this country can make to achieve real and sustained economic growth," Mr. Faso said, "and I'm going to go to Washington, with the help of voters, to ensure that we make the right ones."
Supporters are holding a fundraiser for Mr. Faso at Howe Caverns on Thursday, December 3, 5:30pm at Howe Caverns.
Mr. Heaney operates a family business, Heating Energy Affordable Today, a heating oil cooperative.
It was a small cooperative when Mr. Heaney took charge, and he expanded the company into the largest heating oil buying group in the country, according to information on his website.