Democrats Pick Congressional Candidate Today

<p>President Obama nominates John McHugh to become Secretary of the Army</p>
President Obama nominates John McHugh to become Secretary of the Army

It’s another important day in the race to replace John McHugh as Congressman in the North Country.

Democratic party leaders meet today at Syracuse University’s meeting center in Blue Mountain Lake. They intend to choose from among 11 people who want the party’s endorsement for Congress.

Among the 11 is former Oswego Mayor John Sullivan.

There doesn’t appear to be a clear favorite, as the two Democrats who wee thought to have the best chance at the endorsement both said they would not run. State Sen. Darrel Aubertine chose to stay where he is, while former U.S. Attorney Dan French declined to move into the district, where he has a summer home, to run for the seat.

Republicans have already picked Gouverneur Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava to carry their banner.

Conservative Party officials Friday chose North Country businessman Doug Hoffman to run on their line. Conservative Party officials say they’re unhappy with Republican Scozzafava because of her stands on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

Hoffman called himself the real Republican in the race. “I will fight against wasteful government spending, ever growing deficits, and the business as usual crowd in Washington,” he said in a statement.

It will be a while longer before there can be a race. Two US Senators from Kansas are holding up McHugh’s confirmation as Secretary of the Army because they want the Obama administration not to send terror suspects to a military prison in their state. Their action prevented the Senate from confirming McHugh before the Senate began its annual August recess.

Until McHugh leaves the job, Gov. Paterson can’t call a special election to replace him. Because of the cost of running a special election, officials hope it can take place on the same day as the regular November elections. McHugh will have to be confirmed and out of the Congressional job by the end of September.