BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The race for the State Senate’s 60th District is heating up.
Just days after incumbent Democrat Marc Panepinto announced he would not be seeking a second term in the 60th District seat, Republican Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs announced his plans to run for it.
Jacobs made the official announcement Friday morning surrounded by his family, local leaders, and the chair of the Erie County Republican Party, in one of the first buildings he redeveloped on Main Street. “I want to take that passion for this area, and my experience that I’ve garnered in the private sector, the non-profit sector, and the public sector to be your next New York State Senator,” Jacobs said, prompting loud applause from the gathered crowd.
Jacobs is just the latest candidate to join this race, though.
Democrat Amber Small made announced her campaign for State Senate in early February and is already ramping up her election efforts. “We need someone who can represent our community to the fullest extent possible. No outside interests, no outside income, someone who’s 100 percent dedicated to serving this community,” said Small, who is currently the Executive Director of the Parkside Community Association.
Small was intending to face Panepinto in the primary for the Democratic ticket, but with Panepinto out, she may now face a different challenger. Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D-149th District) has told News 4 he is considering running for the State Senate seat.
Meanwhile, Independent Republican Kevin Stocker is already hard at work trying to take that seat in November. The Kenmore attorney has been on the campaign trail since September of last year, knocking on doors all over the area as he mounts another bid for the Senate seat he fought for in the heated four-way race that Panepinto won in 2014.
“It’s David vs. Goliath and I never like to give up,” Stocker said. “I like the challenge. It’s going to be millionaires and billionaires and the corrupt party bosses against a simple kid from Kenmore East, and I like my chances.”
Stocker said he did not seek the support from the Republican Party, nor would he accept it.
For his part, the head of the Erie County Republican Party says he’s fully confident Chris Jacobs will win the race. “I don’t think he cares who he’s running against, he’s going to be our next state senator,” Nick Langworthy said after Jacobs made his official announcement.
Still, it could be some time before we know for sure who all will be running for the 60th District seat, and with the balance of power in the State Senate at stake with this election, this is a race News 4 will continue to follow closely.