Only hours after I chided her for being Hamlet on the Oswegatchie, reports surface that St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia Ritchie is indeed running to unseat Senator Darrel Aubertine in the the pivotal 48th District.
Jude reports Ritchie is telling GOP insiders what was already obvious and that is she is taking on Aubertine is what could be another wing ding of a race.
Privately, Democrats are dismissive of Ritchie, claiming she is Palinesque in her grasp of the great issues of the day in Albany. Granted, her first run at state office in 2002 was hardly a civics lession in state government. (Granted, some of us don't think of 'Palinesque" as a perjorative.)
In that Assembly bid Ritchie lost a close race to Darrel Aubertine for the Assembly seat long held by H. Robert Nortz. Neither candidate was scintillating on the stump and Ritchie, while devasted by the loss, has since always been talked about when these races came up.
Certainly, Senator Aubertine has become more of the Albany politician while still maintaining that hometown flavor.....This year Albany is out and hometown is in and on that count Ritchie is competitive.
Her tune-up run this year was a successful bid to halt motorists from being forced to buy new license plates. In the couple of conversations I have had with her, she has improved her political appeal in eight years.
It will take an imaginative campaign for her to overtake Aubertine, and that's something missing from recent GOP efforts in the 48th.
One GOP type told me tonight Ritchie is popular running as county clerk, but that doesn't necessarily transfer to a race against an equally popular incumbent senator. In short, it's Aubertine's race to lose.
And while Republican state leaders have promised to fund her race dollar for dollar, it is unclear the GOP has that kind of cash, when there are several races they will need to fund in order to take back control of the body. One plus is that the 48th is a relatively inexpensive district to compete in.
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