WILDCARD: Brian Kolb, Assembly Minority Leader, Canandaigua: There’s a precedent in that former minority leader Tedesco was tapped for a congressional special election in NY-20 and he narrowly lost. Kolb’s certainly qualified as a candidate for this seat and brings some unique traits to the table, but I think he’s far down the depth chart for 3 admittedly subjective reasons. 1) He’s needed where he’s at. 2) I get the sense he has other political aspirations. 3) He strikes me as an odd fit for the 29th – he’s not “Southern Tier” and he’s not “Rochester/Monroe County” he has a peculiar “Finger Lakes Feel” to him and I’m not sure how that plays in this unique district. (Just my analysis from 5+ years of covering this district and its campaigns.)
NY State Senators: They’re “imprisoned” in Albany and must stay on the sidelines; the balance of power in that legislative body is far too sensitive to be messed with. (see: Cathy Young, George Winner, Joe Robach, Jim Alesi)
NY State Assembly Members: Aside from Kolb I don’t get the “ready for Prime Time” feel from any of these names, same goes for the Dems. (Joe Errigo, Tom O’Mara, Jim Bacalles)
Name Recognition: It doesn’t matter for any candidate and is overrated as a factor in a Special Election setting. There will be a 30-60 day media microscope on this race, if you’re a voter going to the polls that day than you’re a voter who knows the horses in the race.