The Democratic Party chairs of New York's 21st Congressional District have set Tuesday as their deadline to receive expressions of interest from candidates who want to be considered for the Nov. 4 election.
Speaking on behalf of the 12 chairs, Washington County Democratic Chairwoman Sheila Comar said today in a press release that they are expected to complete their selection process by mid-February.
Rep. Bill Owens of Plattsburgh announced Jan. 14 he won't run for re-election. Owens won in 2009, 2010 and 2012, and was the first Democrat to represent the North Country in the U.S. House of Representatives in living memory.
His retirement opens up the field for others in his party. Among well-known politicians, Scott Murphy of Glens Falls and Randy Douglas of Jay have told the Enterprise they may try for the job, and others have reported that Darrel Aubertine and Deirdre Scozzafava may do the same.
Comar said the chairs will follow a selection process similar to what they did in 2009 in a special election to replace Rep. John McHugh, whom President Obama had chosen as Army secretary.
"That resulted in the selection of Congressman Bill Owens," Comar said. "We are equally hopeful this time."
Meanwhile, Republican county chairs have been meeting with three candidates: Joe Gilbert of DeKalb Junction, Michael Ring of Adams Center and Elise Stefanik of Willsboro. The chairs are expected to endorse one on Wednesday.
Donald Hassig of Colton also plans to run on the Green Party ticket, as he did in 2012.
The 21st District covers all of the North Country and includes Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Jefferson, Lewis, Herkimer, Fulton, Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties.