Hanna Considering Senate Primary Against Alesi

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Assemblyman Sean Hanna, R-Mendon, Monroe County, is eying a potential primary challenge to Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County.

Hanna confirmed to Gannett’s Albany Bureau today that he’s contemplating a run against Alesi, but he said he’s made no decision.

“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.

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