Schenectady County

Congressional race gets even larger

The executive director of the Pharmacist Society of the State of New York said he is entering the cr

The executive director of the Pharmacist Society of the State of New York said he is entering the crowded race for the 21st Congressional District seat of Rep. Michael McNulty, D-Green Island.

Craig M. Burridge, 52, of Waterford, becomes the eighth Democrat to announce. Two Republicans are also in the race.

“I believe that I have the necessary credentials to go to Congress and make a positive difference in people’s lives, something I have tried to do throughout my life,” Burridge said. This is his first bid for public office.

His platform is to reduce the high cost of health care, develop a health care system that does not bankrupt citizens, fix the mortgage crisis by regulating nontraditional mortgage lenders and reining in the financial securities market’s practices, to provide more resources to schools and to keep Social Security solvent.

“All of these issues and more must be debated with the best interests of the American people coming first. I have the background and the will to make sure the people are heard,” Burridge said.

Burridge was born in Troy and raised in the Capital Region. He holds a master’s degree in public service and a bachelor of science in political science.

He worked as an analyst for the New York Senate minority leader’s office; as executive director of the state Association of Renewal and Housing Officials; and as commissioner of the Cohoes Housing Authority. He is immediate past president of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

The other Democrats in the race are John Aretakis, 47, of North Greenbush; 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; Phil Steck, Colonie Democratic chairman; and Arthur Welser, a licensed broker with Real Property Enterprises in North Greenbush.

The two Republicans are James Buhrmaster, 62, president of Buhrmaster Energy Group, 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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