Schenectady County

Sixth Democrat joins race for Congress

A sixth Democrat, Arthur Welser, has entered the race for the 21st Congressional District seat, from

A sixth Democrat, Arthur Welser, has entered the race for the 21st Congressional District seat, from which Rep. Michael McNulty, D-Green Island, will retire at the end of this term, after 20 years.

Welser, 55, of Latham, is a licensed broker with Real Property Enterprises in North Greenbush. He is a graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor of science degree in economics, finance and statistics. His campaign information indicates he worked on his family farm for several years in Evan Mills and served on local community boards and the LeRay Zoning Board of Appeals. He also worked as a car salesman in central New York.

He moved to Latham six years ago and describes himself as pro-family and pro-homeownership.

Welser says he wants to fix Social Security, establish a Reserve Military Training Corps in high schools for problem children, stop promoting gambling and deal with global warming.

“I’ve never served in a paid position in government, never been elected to political office and I’m of the opinion Congress is well, Congress! It shouldn’t be made up of former government employees and/or politicians. Maybe not people of wealth either, although a few of our Founding Fathers including Jefferson were very rich,” he said.

He is running for Congress to create change, to end the war and to finish undecided issues left by McNulty, he said.

The other Democrats in the race are: Tracey Brooks, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton; Lester Freeman, the city of Albany’s Equal Employment Opportunity officer; Gary Mittleman, former Plug Power CEO; Darius Shahinfar, an Albany attorney and former aide to Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand; and Phil Steck, Colonie Democratic chairman.

Two Republicans have declared candidacies: James Buhrmaster, 62, is president of Buhrmaster Energy Group, a fourth-generation, locally owned and operated company based in Glenville, and a Schenectady County legislator; and Steven Vasquez, 33, of Ballston Lake, a self-described Tech Valley entrepreneur who started an electronics company called ReQuest.

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