NY-23 Attrition: Dem Field Shrinks as French Bows Out

ALBANY—Dan French, an attorney and former Congressional staffer, has become the latest Democrat to remove his name from consideration to replace John McHugh in Congress.

"While I intend to return to public service in the future, this is not the right time for me or my family," French just told me by phone.

The former U.S. attorney had told me and other reporters since State Senator Darrel Aubertine dropped out of contention last week that he was mulling a run. He said he never submitted a résumé to the 11 county chairs in the district, as required, pending Aubertine's decision. (Aubertine was the presumptive favorite to win the nomination.) News of Aubertine's exit was made public just after the 5 p.m. deadline last Thursday. French said he did not contact party chairs afterward to try and be considered.

Sean Hennessey, the chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Committee, issued a press release early this morning saying that Democrats will interview 11 candidates for the seat on August 10, then make a decision.

"We will continue to review the applications we have received," Hennessey said in a statement. "We will nominate a strong candidate who will campaign aggressively and win this special election before heading to Congress to work to create jobs in our district and get our economy back on track."

Here are the 11 candidates:

Andy Bisselle, Essex County
Stu Brody, Essex County
Steve Burke, St. Lawrence County
Danny Francis, Jefferson County
Bob Johnson, Jefferson County
Rudolph Johnson, Franklin County
Brian McGrath, Lewis County
David Ryan, Franklin County
John Sullivan Jr., Oswego County
Michael Oot, Madison County
Bill Owens, Clinton County