Local Democratic politicians and county committee chairpersons sound enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president with many saying they will throw their support behind her.
During a meeting earlier this month, the Schenectady County Democratic Committee unanimously endorsed Clinton before she had officially announced she was running.
Committee Chairman Joe Landry called Clinton “well-qualified” and said the positions she has held in the past make her the most vialbe candidate.
“She has been a secretary of state, she has been a first lady and a U.S. senator from New York,” Landry said Sunday. “We think she has the qualifications to be our next president.”
Landry added that Clinton’s ties to New York and willingness to help upstate also make her an appealing candidate for his committee.
“She has been very supportive of our efforts in Schenectady County and when she was a U.S. senator her staff was very accessible, she even made a few visits to the area to help out with issues,” he said. “She also took strides to keep businesses in the county and bring new ones to the area, so she is someone that we have worked with in the past and someone that has helped the residents Schenectady County over the years.”
On Sunday Clinton announced her second campaign for the White House, a move that had been expected for almost two years.
U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, in a released statement, said, “I enjoyed working with Mrs. Clinton when she served as secretary of state and U.S. senator for the State of New York, and I believe she would make a fine leader for our nation, particularly on issues like economic equality, clean energy, and job growth. Over a lifetime of public service, she has shown she knows how to get things done, and no place in America is in more need of progress right now than in Washington, D.C.”
Montgomery County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Bethany Schumann-McGhee said she anticipates her committee will endorse Clinton.
“She has an excellent record in public service. Being a woman or not, I think she is an excellent candidate. I think it will be a really exciting race,” she said. “Republicans will have a very difficult time finding an opponent who can beat her.”
In Montgomery County, Schumann-McGhee said, there are more “Democrats then most people think.”
“In my county, we have a majority in the county Legislature and we have a good amount of Democrats,” she said. “In this case it will be about mobilizing voters and making sure people that are enrolled show up and vote.”
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 favored Clinton by nearly a 2-to-1 ratio.
Clinton, who resides in Westchester County, served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 under Obama and represented New York in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009.
In a released statement, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. D-Rotterdam, said, "Hillary Clinton has a dynamic resume, which includes eight years in the U.S. Senate representing our great state, making her entrance into the presidential race an exciting development."
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said Clinton’s announcement is good for New York but shied away from endorsing her.
“She is clearly one of the leading candidates to become president,” McCarthy said. “Having her as a contender for president and having [U.S. Sen. Charles] Schumer move up in the Senate bodes well for New York in the long run.”
When asked if he plans to endorse Clinton, McCarthy said, “it’s still early.”