45th STATE SENATE DISTRICT -- State Assemblyman Dan Stec on Wednesday announced he will run for the state Senate seat being vacated by the pending retirement of veteran Sen. Betty Little.
"In the wake of Senator Betty Little’s retirement, I am formally announcing my candidacy for state Senate," Stec wrote on Twitter.
Stec, 50, R-Queensbury, had been widely viewed as a likely potential successor to Little. A former Queensbury town supervisor, Stec has been in the Assembly since 2013, representing the 114th Assembly District, a district that heavily overlaps with Little's Senate district, covering much of the little-populated eastern Adirondacks.
The 45th Senate District stretches from Glens Falls to Canada, and is the geographically largest Senate district in the state. It includes all or parts of Warren, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Essex and Clinton counties.
"There's a tremendous amount of overlap in the work and in the district geographically," Stec said on Wednesday. "I don't think we could know the Senate district better. I will need to learn some local issues up north. There are local issues, but the North Country is the North Country."
Little, 79, of Queensbury, announced last Thursday that after 17 years in the seat she won't seek re-election for a 10th two-year term in 2020.
In the Capital Region, state Sen. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, has also announced that he won't run again, and several other Republican senators are also retiring. The Democrats last January took control of the Senate for the first time in a decade, meaning Republicans could no longer block legislation coming through the Democrat-controlled Assembly or from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Stec said a Facebook announcement about his candidacy on Wednesday received 800 "likes" in just six hours, and said that is indicative of the response he has received since Little announced her plans.
"It's true I think a lot of people see this as a natural progression," Stec said. "People see Betty and I together, we have the same issues, we're at the same events."
He said he's had supportive conversations with state Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy and county Republican and Conservative leaders, as well as with fellow Assembly Republicans. Campaigning in earnest will probably start in January, he said.
Clinton County Treasurer Kimberly Davis has previously announced a Democratic bid for Little's seat.
The advantage in any election contest will be to Republicans. The 45th Senate District has 58,943 registered Democrats, 70,537 registered Republicans, and 40,564 independents, according to the state Board of Elections.
Stec's Assembly seat is up for election in 2020, so he will not seek re-election to his current position. The 114th District includes part of northern Saratoga County, and that is the only part of his Assembly district that doesn't overlap with Little's Senate district.