Bausch & Lomb Exec Sees Path to Congress

Posted May 3, 2007 at 9:38am

Eric Massa (D), the retired Navy commander who fell just 2 points short of upsetting Rep. Randy Kuhl (R) in November and is full speed ahead on a rematch, will not be the only Democratic fish in the 29th district sea this election cycle.

David Nachbar, an executive at the Bausch & Lomb eye care company in Rochester, announced this week that he is also seeking the Democratic nomination.

“Our communities deserve better representation than they’re getting now, and that’s why I’m filing papers to run for Congress,” Nachbar said in a statement, according to Wednesday’s Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Nachbar entered the 29th district race for about 24 hours in 2006 but dropped out because he was not then a registered Democrat. While Nachbar could have become the Democratic nominee despite being an unaffiliated voter, the hoops he would have needed to jump through to get on the Democratic ballot appeared too formidable, so he endorsed Massa.

Some Democratic leaders then believed that Nachbar, Bausch & Lomb’s senior vice president for human resources, would have been a stronger candidate than Massa because Nachbar had the ability to self-fund part of his campaign. Where party leaders will shake out on the coming fight for the Democratic nomination remains to be seen.

Massa told the newspaper that his supporters will be energized by Nachbar’s entry into the race and also said that the desire of multiple Democrats to run is a sign of Kuhl’s vulnerability.

“Randy Kuhl is seen as one of the weakest candidates in Congress,” Massa said.

— Josh Kurtz