DURHAM — Democratic Greene County Legislator Aidan O’Connor Jr. of Durham and Republican Assemblyman Chris Tague of Schoharie announced Wednesday they collected enough support to get their names on the ballot for the 102nd Assembly District seat again in November.
O’Connor and Tague were rivals for the district that encompasses all of Greene and Schoharie counties and parts of Columbia, Ulster, Delaware, Albany and Otsego counties, in April in a special election. The April election to replace long-time Assemblyman Pete Lopez, was close, coming down to absentee ballots for the final 9,156-8,997 result with Tague sealing the victory, according to the state Board of Elections.
O’Connor collected 1,167 petition signatures for the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines and filed the documents Tuesday.
Tague collected more than 3,000 signatures.
Petitions for candidates seeking state office are due this week, with the final deadline Thursday. Candidates for state Assembly seats are required to file 500 petition signatures, according to the state Board of Elections.
“We will officially launch our campaign some time in August,” O’Connor said. “We will be running a little bit different campaign than we did last time.” Although the Democrat from Durham lost the special election, he said he has not stopped campaigning.
“One of our messages is that we never stopped,” O’Connor said. “We have been attending events and knocking on doors.”
O’Connor is going to change up his approach this time around, starting with a new campaign manager: Carolyn Riggs, the former campaign manager for Brian Flynn, who ran in the Democratic primary for the 19th Congressional District.
“We will be running a more unique, more personalized campaign, with unique events,” O’Connor said. “We will be talking more about my service in the community. It was great talking to people during the special election. We have a lot more time to talk to people this time. We are even more excited about this race than the last.”
O’Connor will announce his official platform in August, but he said some of the base issues remain the same, including health care and corruption in Albany.
Although Tague has been spending much of his time the past two months in Albany, he has hit the ground running for the next election, he said.
“I look forward to spending time hitting the streets and knocking on doors to earn every last vote,” Tague said. “I am resolved to continue my hard work and dedication working with and for the people of the 102nd Assembly District.”
Tague credits the support he has received so far to the work he has done in Albany during his brief time as an assemblyman, he said.
“The groundswell of support I believe is indicative that I kept my promises of standing up to Albany corruption, against Gov. Cuomo’s misguided policies that threaten our shared values, and fighting for lower taxes so we can afford to live in the communities we helped build. My short term record in Albany reflects that,” Tague said.