State Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski) said today he is forming a committee to explore the idea of running for Congress this year.
Barclay has formed an exploratory committee, which allows him to raise money for a possible run.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Over the past several weeks, I have been honored to have been approached by numerous friends and supporters urging me to run for Congress,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Barclay in a statement e-mailed to newsrooms Friday afternoon. Ã¢â‚¬Å“While I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t run during the special election due to family reasons, I am deeply disappointed with the outcome of that race and feel that this time I should more thoroughly investigate running. To that end, over the next couple of weeks I plan on traveling throughout the Congressional District to meet with party officials and various constituencies to discuss my potential candidacy. I am excited about starting this process and again I am honored to be urged to run.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Barclay is the first Republican to say publicly that he plans to run for the seat now held by Democrat Bill Owens.Ã‚Â Owens beat Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman to become the first Democrat to represent some parts of the 23rd Congressional District since the Civil War.
The district, which is larger than some states, stretches from Hannibal to Plattsburgh, covering 11 counties.
Hoffman has said he is likely to run again, though he hasn’t indicated in which district he plans to run.Ã‚Â Hoffman lives outside the 23rd District, in Lake Placid, and could run there.
Barclay aimed for higher office in 2008, but lost a special election to Democrat Darrel Aubertine of Cape Vincent for the right to replace retired State Senator Jim Wright.Ã‚Â Barclay thought about running for Congress in last year’s special election, but decided against it.
The election was a remarkable one, because of the presence of the conservative Hoffman and the socially moderate Republican, Dede Scozzafava.Ã‚Â Hoffman attracted national attention and hundreds of thousands of dollars from conservatives and conservative groups nationwide.
His surge in support led Scozzafava to pull out of the race on the weekend before the election.Ã‚Â A day later, after Owens congratulated her on her run and Hoffman did not, she threw her support to Owens.