Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, confirmed today that he will seek a second term to the state Senate and not challenge Rep. Nancy Hayworth, R-Mount Kisco, Westchester County, in a primary.
“I’m totally focused on re-election to the Senate. It’s been a critical seat,” Ball told Gannett’s Albany Bureau. “The last election ended up deciding the balance of power, and I think similarly that it will continue to be a critical seat.”
Ball was elected to the Hudson Valley seat in November 2010, first winning a GOP primary — in which Senate Republicans tried to beat him — and then winning by about 2,100 votes against Democrat Michael Kaplowitz in the general election.
With Republicans holding a one-seat majority, every GOP seat is deemed critical. And in redistricting, Ball is expected to get a seat that’s more Republican based. His 40th District seat now has a slight Democratic enrollment edge.
The blog, GestetnerUpdates.com, reported yesterday that Ball told them he’s not running for Congress this year — ending months of speculation that Ball might run against Hayworth.
Ball, a former Assembly member, briefly ran for Congress in 2010 against then-Democratic Rep. John Hall, but switched gears and ran for state Senate, a seat that was opened when Sen. Vincent Leibell elected to run for Putnam County executive. That didn’t work out too well for Leibell, whose now in prison on federal corruption charges.
But Ball said his criticism of Hayworth, a first-term congresswoman, is because he’s an independent voice.
“I’ve always said that I’m totally 100 percent focused on re-election to the Senate,” Ball explained. “Where I felt that she’s been out of step with the district or the need for an independent voice, I’ve called her out and I will continue to do that. I’ve always had an independent voice and speak what’s on my mind.”