UPDATED: Former MSNBC television host Dylan Ratigan, a Saranac Lake native and Union College graduate, is the latest Democrat to consider running against Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik in the 21st Congressional District.
Ratigan has scheduled an announcement about his plans for noon Wednesday in Saranac Lake, where his grandfather was once mayor.
There are strong indications that Ratigan, who has lived in Lake Placid since 2012, plans to run.
"If I run you’ll know where I stand on everything. Because I’ve already made all my positions clear! #straighttalk," Ratigan wrote on Twitter Friday morning.
His website, dylanratigan.com, was set up Friday to accept campaign contributions, and he has formed a campaign committee.
"Dylan is a strong advocate for transparency and integrity in government as a commentator, film producer, and author," his website states. "He has spent his career fighting for small businesses, equality, veterans, food and water security, drug decriminalization, fair economic opportunity and the recognition of money in politics as a root cause of our nation’s challenges."
If Radigan runs, he will be entering a crowded Democratic field that already features nine people from across the sprawling North Country district, where Democrats hope that Stefanik — who is seeking her third two-year term — is vulnerable.
As he considers his first bid for elected office, Ratigan is working with Washington, D.C., political consultant Joe Trippi, who has been a prominent campaign strategist since former Vermont governor Howard Dean's campaign for president in 2004, and worked most recently on Democrat Doug Jones' successful U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama last December.
Other Democrats in the race include Don Boyajian, an Albany attorney who lives in Cambridge,Tedra Cobb of Canton, a St. Lawrence County legislator; Tanya Boone of Granville, Emily Martz of Saranac Lake, Katie Wilson of Keene, Patrick Nelson of Stillwater, Ronald Kim of Glens Falls, Greenwich Town Supervisor Sara Idelman and Dr. David Mastrianni of Saratoga.
Ratigan, 45, graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 1994. He spoke at the college commencement in 2012.
After college, Ratigan went into business journalism, and was an editor at Bloomberg news before moving to MSNBC, where his roles including appearing on "Fast Money," and later hosting his own show, "The Dylan Ratigan Show." In 2012 he published a book, "Greedy Bastards," about the relationship between big business and government.
After leaving MSNBC, Ratigan has become involved with hydroponic farming. He founded Helical Holdings, which markets a system that produces clean water, solar power, and hydroponic produce.