Latimer: “I’m certainly interested in the seat”

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Assemblyman George Latimer says he’s “interested” in running for the state Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, D-Mamaroneck, but will take some time to make a final decision.

Latimer, a Democrat from Rye, Westchester County, said he’s been contacted by a deluge of reporters and party officials since Oppenheimer announced her decision this morning, and will make up his mind “in a reasonable amount of time.”

“At this stage of the game, I’m certainly interested in the seat,” Latimer said in a phone interview. “But today is really about Suzi’s decision, and a focus on her and the work that she’s done over an extended period of time.”

Every seat in the state Legislature is up for election in 2012, though a legislative task force is currently redrawing district maps to account for the 2010 Census. Senate Republicans have already announced plans to add a 63rd seat in the upper house, and Latimer said he wants to see what his district will look like.

“We’re obviously waiting for district lines, and we don’t know what they’re going to look like,” Latimer said. “We hear that it’s going to be a district that is stronger for the Republicans. We’re not stupid.”

If he were to run, Latimer would likely face Republican Bob Cohen, a Scarsdale businessman who narrowly lost to Oppenheimer in 2010.

“We know that Bob Cohen is an estimable candidate,” Latimer said. “He ran a well-funded and very energetic race and he’s going to do it again. So all of those things are a part of the mix, and it’s such a complicated amalgam that goes into your final decision to run or not to run.”

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