The Buffalo News reports that Erie County Legislator Kathy Konst is under pressure to drop out of the race for the 26th Congressional District — where she would face three other primary challengers for the Democratic nod — and run instead against Sen. Dale Volker in the 59th District of the State Senate.
Konst, a county legislator from Lancaster, said that she has not definitely made up her mind, and that she may have “misspoke” earlier Monday indicating that she had decided to switch gears and launch a campaign against Volker.
“My volunteers are behind me for Congress,” she said, adding that many people were trying to “push me into the Volker seat."
She said earlier in the day that she was approached recently by business leaders who are concerned about the power shift away from upstate. She said since they and she are convinced the Democrats will claim the Senate majority in November, she believes that the time is right to seek the Volker seat.
“I never before thought it appropriate to run against Volker, because in order to get anything for upstate, we had to have seniority,” she said earlier Monday. “But once [Senate Majority Leader Joseph L.] Bruno dropped out, it looks like the Republicans will lose the Senate and whatever influence Dale had will be gone.”
Robert Harding of The Albany Project blog isn't sure about her chances of unseating Volker, though he seems optimistic.
I have a mixed opinion of Konst. She is a moderate Democratic legislator representing the 5th legislative district on the Erie County Legislature.
That said, a moderate Democrat can win this district. Volatile Volker is facing a primary challenge so his job won't be easy to begin with. Now, the Democrats have someone to run against him in November.
Can she win? Time will tell. I will reach out to Konst for an interview. We should get to know more about her to decide whether or not this is a race we can win. Beating Volker would be huge. Konst just might be the person to do that.
Batavian Dan Jones is already cheering Konst's (still officially unannounced) relocation from the contest for the 26th Congressional District to the Senate's 59th.
I am happy to hear that Kathy Konst has decided to withdraw from the NY-26th district race, although I am totally loyal to Jon [Powers], I know that Kathy is a very well respected and accomplished individual and I wish her the best in her race to unseat Dale Volker in the 59th State Senate District.
Jones is the president of the Genesee County Young Democrats.