Below is a statement issued at approximately 6:15 p.m. Thursday night by State Senator Darrel Aubertine, taking himself out of the running for the soon-to-be-open seat in Congress from the North Country.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There has been a lot of speculation as to whether I would run in a special election for the 23rd Congressional District.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My priority must continue to be the work I have started in the state Senate, representing Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. My commitment is to the people of the 48th Senate District and has been all along. Before I could even consider the possibility of serving another eight counties, I had a duty to finish out this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s session.
“This seat in Congress belongs to the people who live in these 11 counties, not any elected official or political party.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Unfortunately, the National Republican Party has viewed the seat differently. National Republicans have demonstrated their belief that party registration matters more than the issues by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to attack and vilify me. They never mentioned the important issues we care about here in the 23rd, whether itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s our military and Fort Drum, border security and international trade, agriculture, energy and the economy of the future, or rural healthcare.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no small wonder why the Washington Republicans are going extinct, and contributors should question why the money theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve given was squandered here for no good reason at all.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I support the process that the Democratic Party has put in place to come up with a candidate to run for the expected vacancy in the 23rd Congressional District. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m certain the 11 county chairs involved in the process will continue to move toward finding a qualified candidate who understands the issues here and will embark on an honest campaign that puts people before politics.Ã¢â‚¬Â