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Sen. Tedisco now says loser of Saratoga County GOP endorsement meeting should drop 44th bid

Senator Daphne Jordan and Senator Jim Tedisco
Lucas Willard
Senator Daphne Jordan and Senator Jim Tedisco

Two Republican New York State Senators continue locking horns over the new 44th district seat.

Senator Daphne Jordan, a Halfmoon resident who represents the current 43rd District, and Senator Jim Tedisco of Glenville, who represents the 49th, have their eyes on the newly redistricted 44th, which includes includes Saratoga County, the town of Niskayuna and the city of Schenectady.

Ignoring calls from Senate party leadership to seek re-election elsewhere, Tedisco issued a statement Friday calling for tonight’s planned meeting of the Saratoga County Republican Committee and its Executive Committee to be the deciding factor as to who should be the party's candidate.

Jordan isn’t buying it.

“This is a very unusual meeting, it was called last minute, it shouldn't really be called on a Friday night of a holiday weekend," said Jordan. "I know that some committee chairmen aren't available. It's unusual in the fact that it's not a legally binding endorsement.”

Tedisco proposes that either candidate should accept and support whichever one receives the committee's endorsement. Jordan is not on board.

"I think it's part of Jim Tedisco’s smoke and mirrors that he always puts out," Jordan said. "You know, it's not even a true endorsement meeting, the committee isn't even all meeting. You're gonna have a group of, of whatever committee chairs can make it to express their sentiments. It's not a true way to vote the way a real meeting would be had, with the full 390 members of the Saratoga County committee. So, you know, to make a statement like that is very silly. “

Tedisco and Saratoga County Republican Committee chair Carl Zeilman did not return calls for comment.

In a statement, Tedisco says he is the best candidate to win in November, and says he’ll back whichever candidate the Saratoga County GOP committee endorses “to avoid a costly and unnecessary primary.”

Jordan contends there needs to be a full committee endorsement meeting.

“It seems that someone wants to rush this through, and keep saying it has to be done before the Board of Elections deadline in which May 31 candidates have to hand in their designation, as to what districts they're running in," Jordan said. "And really, the committee meeting and endorsement does not have to have a nexus with this BOE deadline, We can fill in fill our papers, sign them and put them in and have a real committee meeting with the 10 days notice and everything, and have the whole committee there.”

Republican Senate Leader Rob Ortt says he supports Jordan’s re-election in the 44th and Tedisco in the 46th.

As the intraparty dispute continues, though, things are getting personal: Jordan said "Why should these committee people decide let's take it, let's take it to the people. Let's take it to the people that live in the district and see who they want to represent them. I'll also say that if Jim Tedisco hasn't gotten accomplished what he had set out to do in his 40 years in the legislature, what makes him think or what why would anyone believe that two more years is going to make a difference?"

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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