It’s crunch time for Brian Miller and Maria Kelso.
The two Republicans will face off against each other in the state and local primary on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Whoever wins will face Democrat Arlene Feldmeier of Little Falls in the general election Tuesday, Nov. 8.
All three are looking to replace state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, who is running for Congress and not seeking re-election to the Assembly. Tenney will face off against Democrat Kim Myers and Martin Babinec, who is running on several lines, in November for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld.
"It is my hope," Tenney said in July, "that whomever is elected to this (Assembly) office in November will continue to dedicate themselves to the service of our community by fighting for the people in Albany and standing up to the political establishment."
Both Miller, an Oneida County legislator who represents parts of Bridgewater, Paris and New Hartford, and Kelso, chairwoman of the Delaware County Republican Committee, said they will spend the next couple of weeks talking with constituents throughout the snake-like district, which starts in northern Orange County, and moves up through Ulster, brushing Sullivan, before moving through Delaware, Otsego and Herkimer counties and ending in Oneida County.
Kelso said she intentionally left her calendar open for the two weeks leading up to the primary vote so that she can "travel throughout the district as spontaneously and as often as possible."
"I also hope to continue conducting door-to-door visits with constituents," Kelso said. "These visits are invaluable because they allow me to have direct, meaningful conversations with district voters across a wide range of topics."
Miller said that he has been out "knocking on a lot of doors" and that things were going well.
"We’re trying to spend as much time throughout the district as we can," he said. "We’ve been down to the southern end of the district many times, trying to hit as many events and trying to … talk to as many people as we can."
Miller and Kelso aren't the only ones looking ahead to Sept. 13, however.
Other primaries taking place in the Mohawk Valley include:
State Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, is facing a challenge from Republican Patrick Vincent in the 118th Assembly District.
Democratic Assembly candidate Feldmeier also has been visiting different areas of the district, despite not facing a primary challenge. A former journalist and federal attorney with the Social Security Administration, she's now partners with her husband in a Social Security disability law firm.
"It’s been a pleasure to meet voters up and down the ... district," Feldmeier said in July. " I’ve especially enjoyed meeting business and labor leaders across the region, hearing their ideas for economic growth."
Miller and Kelso also said they've enjoyed the chance to meet people face to face.
"It is very important to me to find out which issues personally concern and impact the residents of the 101st Assembly District the most," Kelso said. "Representing the people of the … district in Albany would indeed be an honor."
Miller said the reception from potential constituents has been good.
"I want people to know who I am," he said. "I want to talk to the constituents. I want to know their needs."