New York Sen. Michelle Hinchey will seek re-election to a second term and is keeping her eyes on the state Legislature's upper chamber, she said Friday, pulling the plug on an announcement earlier this week she was exploring a congressional run.
Hinchey, a Democrat from Saugerties, said on Tuesday she would explore campaigning for the Democratic nomination for the 19th Congressional District within hours of Gov. Kathy Hochul's announcement that U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat who has represented the Hudson Valley seat since 2019, would step down from federal office and become the state's lieutenant governor later this month.
The freshman senator announced her intention to seek re-election to the Legislature on Twitter early Friday afternoon.
"I ran for office because that’s how I could best serve my community — to give upstate residents a real seat at the table," Hinchey said. "When scenarios change, reflection on where the work is best continued, where you make the biggest difference and what’s truly at stake is brought to the forefront. But, with the events of this week & the impending & detrimental Supreme Court decision to overturn a person’s right to choose, it’s never been more clear that state governments are where the work is most important. With our Federal government in turmoil, states are now the active battlegrounds in our fight to protect our democracy & to ensure equitable & just policies that protect all of us.
"And that’s why I am so proud to serve as your state senator, working every day for the rights of New Yorkers and proving our state to be a model for the rest of the country to follow," Hinchey continued. "We are facing a daunting moment — one that calls for unity, collaboration and teamwork across all levels of government. And we need strong champions fighting to hold every seat up and down the ballot this November. For the strength of our party and the future we need here in New York state, I have decided to stay in the Senate & run for re-election, however the lines may look. We need representation in Albany fighting against the partisan rhetoric & blatant attacks on the rights we hold so dear. The stakes have never been this high and the work in the state Senate has never been more important. I look forward to continuing the fight for our community, our state and our democracy together."
Retired state trooper Republican Richard Amedure, of Rensselaerville, first launched his re-election campaign to rematch Hinchey for the Senate seat in March. He lost his bid for the seat in 2020 after absentee ballot counts were finalized.
"My opponent's priority is clearly focusing more on her political image than the needs of the people in our district," Amedure said Friday in response to Hinchey's announcement to seek re-election. "Families here are struggling to make ends meet: Gas is unaffordable, food is expensive and energy bills are through the roof. Our agricultural community is beholden to bad Albany policies that she supports. And criminals are given priority over law-abiding citizens. She has done nothing to improve our district except make voters more upset with the dysfunction she is a part of."
Amedure said he has heard growing frustration from voters when speaking with potential constituents while campaigning.
"People are fed up with bureaucratic policies when mom and pop shops are trying to get back on their feet," he added. "It's time to stop catering to New York City special interests and enact common-sense policies to stop the exodus of people from Upstate New York. Make no mistake, this election, there will be change."
Hinchey did not endorse another Democratic candidate for the congressional nomination Friday.
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, a Democrat who lost the congressional nomination to Delgado in a 2018 primary, was first on Tuesday to announce he is considering a subsequent run for the federal ticket. On Twitter on Friday, he said he will make the decision to run for Congress soon, and supported Hinchey's Senate campaign.
"Upstate New York is lucky to have Michelle Hinchey in the state Senate," Ryan said. "From supporting our small businesses to helping our local farmers, she has been a constant champion for our region. I’m excited to support her re-election and to continue fighting together for our community.
"Over the last few days, I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of encouragement and support for me to take on the critical mission of running in NY-19," he added. I’m continuing to talk with my family, community leaders, and constituents about how I can best continue to serve. ...Given what’s at stake locally and nationally – record-breaking inflation, global instability and the war in Ukraine, and now a radical attack on womens’ rights – I’ve never felt more strongly about the need for leaders of character to step up and fight for our democracy and our values, so trust that I will be making a decision very soon."