Aubertine Bows Out

ALBANY—State Senator Darrel Aubertine is not running for Congress.

"My priority must continue to be the work I have started in the state Senate, representing Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. My commitment is to the people of the 48th Senate District and has been all along. Before I could even consider the possibility of serving another eight counties, I had a duty to finish out this year's session," Aubertine said in a statement, referencing "speculation" that he might run.

Democrats had been stalling to give him an opportunity to run for the seat being vacated by John McHugh, President Obama's nominee to be secretary of the army. Applications were due at 5 p.m. today.

"I support the process that the Democratic Party has put in place to come up with a candidate to run for the expected vacancy in the 23rd Congressional District," Aubertine continued. "I'm certain the 11 county chairs involved in the process will continue to move toward finding a qualified candidate who understands the issues here and will embark on an honest campaign that puts people before politics."

Aubertine had faced pressure from all directions, with national partisans wooing him to run as state officials muscled him to stay in a State Senate seat that may revert to Republican control if he left, tipping the balance of power in the closely divided chamber.

Last night, Republicans announced that Assemblywoman DeDe Scozzafava would be their nominee. Conservatives are moving toward nominating Jim Kelly.

McHugh has not yet vacated the seat, and as such a special election has not yet been called.

Aubertine Bows Out