Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco is flirting with running for Hugh Farley’s seat with the senior senator already throwing his support behind him.
Farley, R-Niskayuna, announced on Tuesday that he would not seek re-election for a 21st term. Tedisco said he is considering a run for the state Senate seat to put him in the majority.
Tedisco said he expects to make a decision in a week or two.
“I need time to discuss this with my family and my wife and make a decision then,” he said.
He said he believes it’s important for the Republicans to keep a hold on the 49th Senate District seat, which is the second largest district in the state.
The district includes parts of Schenectady and Saratoga counties and all of Hamilton and Herkimer counties.
“Keeping that seat is the most important,” Tedisco said. “One party rule is not good for any level of government. You have to have the other side arguing every issue. I tried to give the other side a voice in the Assembly and I learned from Farley.”
Farley said he expects Tedisco to run for his seat and that he plans to endorse him if he does.
“I think it’s critical we keep the Republican Senate,” Farley said. “It’s the only balance in government in the state. Jim will be an outstanding candidate. I’m anxious to see the outcome.”
Tedisco, 65, has served in the Assembly for 33 years. He represents the 112th District, which includes parts of Schenectady and Saratoga counties. He lives in Glenville with his wife, Mary, and son, Andrew.
Before the Assembly, Tedisco served on the Schenectady City Council. He graduated from Bishop Gibbons High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Union College.
Tedisco is well known for playing varsity basketball at Union from 1969-72. He holds a number of records at the college, including highest career scoring average and most single-season points.
Before Farley announced his plans not to run for re-election, two Republicans — Christian Klueg and Nancy Nugent — announced that they would run for Farley’s seat.
Klueg, a business owner in Fulton County, said in a statement that Farley is a well-respected senator and that he will be missed in the Legislature. He announced his campaign in May of last year.
He said he looks forward to the primary process to give the voters an opportunity to choose a candidate for the seat.
“I decided to run for state Senate because I care deeply about New York and was discouraged by the widespread corruption that has become the status quo in Albany,” he said. “Now more than ever it’s time to change Albany and end corruption, to overturn the SAFE Act, stand up for upstate residents and fight for our small businesses that are being weighed down by suffocating regulations.”
Chad Putman, Schenectady’s deputy city clerk, is the only Democrat who has announced his bid for the Senate seat.
Putman, 40, said in January that he believes Farley has served in the Senate for too long and that it’s time for a change.
In a statement on Tuesday, Putman described Farley as a dedicated public servant with a long and distinguished career.
“I respect his decision to spend time with his wife and put her health first,” he said. “I commend Senator Farley on his work advocating for hospice care, our public libraries and safeguards for our elderly populations.”
Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said on Tuesday that he has also been thinking about running for the seat over the past couple of months.
“I have been getting a lot of calls asking me to consider it,” he said. “I haven’t had the chance to talk to my wife yet. It’s definitely an interest of mine. I have to weigh some things though.”
Koetzle said if he decides to run he would do so regardless of the other candidates in the race.
“I have worked very closely with Jim and I have to do what I think is best for me, my family and the district,” he said. “Jim running wouldn’t factor into my decision. I always run my campaigns directly through the people and I would do the same thing here.”
Koetzle said it might not be the best time for him to run for Senate with his older child going to college in August and his youngest at home for another three years in high school.
“The district geographically is a big district,” he said. “Right now I spend a lot of time in my kids’ life. Pretty soon they’ll be gone. So my priority is that right now. It will take time to figure it out.”