This is a special Saturday Edition of Election 2007
For the first time since - we're not really sure - there will be no elected or appointed incumbent running in the District Attorneys race. It's wide-open and will test the health of the Rensselaer County GOP. Is the party as anemic as it seems? Spitzer, Cuomo, Hevesi and Clinton won an easy majority of votes in the last election. The GOP lost a County Judgeship in 2005. Gillibrand received more votes than Sweeney in Rensselaer County and Assemblyman Gordon came within a hundred or so votes of beating Martin Reid within the County. Add Hammond's WFP votes to Gordon's votes and Republican Martin Reid failed to win a majority of votes.
For the Republicans, the focus has been on three potential candidates: Trish DeAngelis, City Council President Hank Bauer and defense attorney Greg Cholakis. With DeAngelis out, the conventional wisdom is that Hank will be the GOP candidate.
As a candidate for District Attorney, Bauer presents a unique set of problems for the GOP: One tactical, one strategic.
Bauer is Troy City Council President. He is the only At-Large incumbent for the Republicans. If he runs for DA, the GOP Council ticket will be weakened. Already concerned about losing the council, finding another At-Large candidate is the last thing the City GOP wants to do.
Strategically, Bauer adds to the increasing taint of corruption now saddling the Republicans. His ignominious removal from the bench will be political fodder for the Democrats.
Cholakis also has a problem. He's simply not 'one of them.' Greg has the potential to be a fine District Attorney but he doesn't appear comfortable (much like Jimino) with the current GOP high command.
So, who will it be?
We predict that the GOP candidate for Rensselaer County District Attorney will be........County Chair Jack Casey.
That's a prediction, folks. It's not an invitation to rip into Casey or leave comments about his private life. We don't care if he's been married once, twice or never. We don't care if he was seen at some bar back in 1977, or handled some case in 1985 that pissed you off. Please restrain yourselves from acting like Republicans.
Can Casey win? Of course. He's also easily beatable.
No word yet. The usual suspects have been mention: Nugent and Premo. No word yet if either even wants the job. Nugent always seems to saliavte over the job but the rumor is that he's yet to mend fences with Democratic Chairman Tom Wade.
Our prediction is that the nomination will go to former Assistant District Attorney Richard McNally. McNally was the number two guy under former DA (and former Judge) James Canfield, the last Democrat elected District Attorney.
McNally is a good choice. He's an experienced prosecutor and also knows cases from the other side of the v, having served as an assistant public defender. He's also never run for office and would be a fresh political face, a rare commodity in Rensselaer County.
Better still, McNally can win.