Assemblyman Sean Hanna, R-Mendon, Monroe County, is eying a potential primary challenge to Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County.
“With the primary date staying in September, there is still time to address those things,” Hanna said. “So I haven’t made any decisions yet.”
Hanna, a former county legislator and regional DEC commissioner under former Gov. George Pataki, has been talked about for months as a conservative alternative to Alesi, who was the first Republican senator last year to back the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The state Conservative Party has vowed to run candidates against the four Republican senators who supported the same-sex marriage bill. Alesi also has his own local troubles: He angered constituents last year when he sued a couple in his district after he trespassed on their property and broke his leg. He dropped the suit amid the backlash.
Alesi has vowed to seek re-election.
Hanna pointed out that the way things stand now, the primaries for state legislative seats are still Sept. 11—despite attempts to align them with the congressional primaries on June 26.
“I’ve been approached, and I’ll be making a decision at the proper time,” Hanna continued. “But there is still plenty of time for that.”
Alesi is the latest of the four Republicans who backed same-sex marriage who may face a primary. Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, is being challenged by Saratoga County Clerk Kathleen Marchione. Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, faces a challenge from at least two candidates.
No challengers have emerged against Sen. Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, who provided the critical 32nd vote for the bill to pass the Senate last June.