Republican Assembly candidate Richard Wager is running March 20 for the vacant 103rd District seat in Poughkeepsie that stretches from Dutchess County to Columbia County.
Then, he will likely face a primary as early as June for the 105th Assembly District — a newly created district that would include his hometown of Washington, Dutchess County, but include none of Columbia and only five of the same towns as the 103rd.
Welcome to the wild world of New York politics this year as redistricting is upending the state’s elections.
Wager, who faces Democrat Didi Barrett in the March 20 special election, said he’s just focusing on one race at a time. The seat is vacant after the resignation of GOP Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro, who was elected Dutchess County executive.
It is one of four races — two in Dutchess County — that will be decided on March 20.
“Right now, I’m focused solely on convincing the people in the current 103rd district why I would be the best person to represent them in Albany,” Wager, who lost a run for Congress in 2008, said. “That’s it.”
But Kieran Lalor called Wager an opportunist, saying Wager is running for election March 20 to a seat that won’t exist in January. Lalor plans to challenge Wager for the Republican nomination for the new 105th Assembly seat — whenever the primary date is decided in Albany.
“I think it’s a little bit self-serving for someone to run in one district and then immediately run in a radically different district,” Lalor charged
Wager said he is simply running in the districts where his home is located — in the 103rd now and the 105th next year.