Schenectady County Democrats have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, even though the likely presidential candidate has not officially thrown her hat in the ring.
The Schenectady County Democratic Committee, Schenectady City Democratic Committee, Niskayuna Democratic Committee and Union-Nott Neighborhood Democratic Committee have all endorsed Clinton for president in 2016.
Schenectady County Democratic Chairman Joe Landry said the committee unanimously endorsed Clinton during a meeting last week. He believes the county is the first in the state, and maybe even the country, to endorsed Clinton for a 2016 run.
“We were the first committee to endorse her for U.S. Senate,” Landry said. “When she was senator, she was very helpful for us in Schenectady and attended events in Schenectady and came to our annual meeting. She also helped to keep some businesses in the county.”
Landry said the county’s endorsement may help to push Clinton to run for president. He said deciding to endorse early, and before she declares as a potential Democratic candidate, might result in other committees nationwide doing the same.
“We think there is a chance she will run, but she has not made an announcement,” he said. “We hope this will help with her announcement.”
Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, announced Tuesday he will seek that party’s presidential nomination. The Clinton campaign, meanwhile, signed a lease to house its headquarters in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of New York City, according to multiple media reports last week.
Clinton ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 and faced off against then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. In the Democratic primary, Schenectady County voters gave Clinton a nearly 2-1 lead.
Sharon Jordan, chief of operations for the city under former Mayor Brian Stratton, coordinated Clinton’s local Senate campaign in 2000 and supported Clinton during her presidential run in 2008. She said she still feels strongly about Clinton and believes she would make a great president.
“I supported her for a very long time, and I want a woman to be president,” she said. “It’s so important to have a woman president, and we have been waiting for a long time. But it’s not just because she is a woman; she is also a really qualified woman, and that makes a big difference.”
Jordan, who sits on the board of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, said she doesn’t believe the endorsement is premature. The county also endorsed Clinton for U.S. Senate first, before she declared her candidacy.
“I think she is an extremely important and very good candidate,” she said. “We endorsed her in the past, and now we are going forward and endorsing her again. I think it’s very important for us to do that.”
Clinton, who resides in Westchester County, is a former U.S. secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady. She served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 under Obama and represented New York in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009.