ELIZABETHTOWN — It’s been three months since Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) announced his retirement from the House of Representatives after a four-year stint, a decision that kicked off an immediate rush from candidates from all ends of the political spectrum to replace him in a race that has already started to attract national attention as a swing district crucial in drafting the electoral road map for House control.
For ballot access, major party hopefuls had to submit signatures equal to 5 percent of the enrolled voters of the political unit (or 1,250 signatures) by Friday, April 10. To meet the filing deadline set by the state board of elections, candidates and their campaigns have been criss-crossing the expansive district, which is some 16,000 square miles and contains over 400,000 enrolled voters, in the quest for support.
Here’s how they made out and what comes next in the race.
Aaron Woolf, the New York City-based political novice who narrowly avoided derailing his campaign with a monthlong period of silence following his endorsement by 11 of the 12 Democratic committee chairs on Feb. 12, passed the ballot threshold and will appear on the primary ballot.
“Our campaign is thrilled that we obtained nearly three times more signatures than needed to make the Democratic Party primary ballot and twice as many signatures as needed for the Working Families Party ballot,” Woolf campaign manager Stuart Rosenberg said in a written statement. “We are excited by the momentum that is growing in our campaign throughout the district and look forward to continuing conversations with residents in the 21st Congressional District on how, working together, we can create jobs and grow our economy here in the North Country.”
Essex County Democratic committee chair Bethany Kosmider said her organization was “exuberantly happy” over the amount of support that Essex County and all the counties of the 21st Congressional District have given to Aaron Woolf.