Oneida County Exec. Anthony Picente Might Run for Congress
The newly drawn congressional maps in New York have political leaders scrambling to determine who is running and which district they'll run in. Now, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says he's considering a run for Congress in the 22nd Congressional District.
Picente said the newly drawn moderate 22nd is unique as it encompasses 3 complete counties, Oneida, Madison and Onondaga. "It's ideal," Picente said, giving the elected representative a real opportunity to serve constituents.
The districts were recently redrawn and released by an independent "master," Jonathan Cervas, who delivered the House map Monday morning to NY Supreme Court in Steuben County. The draft has been open for public comment, and Judge Patrick McAllister's final approval is expected by Friday.
"It's a tight window," Picente said. Decisions will have to be made quickly as the petition process is expected to begin on Saturday. Meanwhile, current 22nd Representative Claudia Tenney hasn't made an official announcement on which district she will be running in, which Picente said plays a big role in his decision.
"If Claudia says she's going to run in the district, then there's nothing for me to talk about," Picente said. But if Tenney decides to run outside the 22nd district, he's seriously considering it.
"I'm not all in, by any stretch," Picente said. "But, I'm not all out. We'll have to see what happens over the next few days," he said.
When the maps were redrawn by Democrats earlier this year, Tenney, who lives in New Hartford, announced she would be running for the 23rd Congressional District. In fact, she's already been campaigning in that district which runs through the Finger Lake region and up to the Buffalo border. Since the latest map came out on Monday, Republican Congressman Chris Gibson is also rumored to be interested in running in the 23rd. Meanwhile, people close to Tenney say she's also considering a run in the 24th district which includes Oswego and runs down the Thruway corridor traveling west out to Buffalo. Rep. John Katko, the current Congressman in the 24th, has announced his retirement.
If Picente decides to run in the 22nd Congressional District, he won't be alone. The Post Standard in Syracuse is reporting that Republican businessman Steven Wells, who ran and lost to Tenney back in 2016, is expected to announce his candidacy on Wednesday.