New York: Lawmaker May Want to Play Ball With Hall

Posted December 17, 2007 at 6:47pm

State Assemblyman Greg Ball (R) freely admits that he wants to run for Congress some day.

The question is whether he’ll risk the legislative seat he won just 13 months ago to make a run at freshman Rep. John Hall (R).

Republicans have been scrambling to find a strong challenger to Hall ever since wealthy businessman Andrew Saul (R) abruptly pulled out of the race late last month.

“I do intend to run for the Congressional seat,” Ball told the Journal News in Monday’s edition. “The question is when.”

Ball, 30, was recently in Washington, D.C., meeting with officials from the National Republican Congressional Committee and Republican strategists. Kieran Michael Lalor (R), a 31-year-old Iraq War veteran who already has entered the race, also recently met with the NRCC.

Although it is likely that he is too conservative to win the Hudson Valley seat, Lalor told the newspaper he is ready to win.

“There’s not a person on the planet who’s given more thought to defeating John Hall than me,” he said.

Former Assemblyman Howard Mills, who took just 29 percent as the GOP nominee against Sen. Charles Schumer (D) in 2004, is also contemplating running for the seat.

— Josh Kurtz

State Senator Stays Put, Won’t Seek House Seat

State Sen. Neil Breslin (D) announced late last week that he would not seek the seat being vacated by 10-term Rep. Mike McNulty (D) in 2008. Breslin, who is 65, told the Albany Times Union he wants to stay put in the Senate in part because he believes Democrats can take control of the chamber next year for the first time since the early 1960s.

“I want to stay and be a part of the team that is reshaping New York’s state government,” he said.

Although several Democrats were mentioned as possible candidates for McNulty’s seat when the Congressman first announced his retirement plans last month, no one has formally entered the race yet. At this stage, the two likeliest contenders are Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton (D) — whose father, the late Rep. Sam Stratton (D), held the seat for 30 years before McNulty took over — and Tracey Brooks (D), who runs the Albany-area office of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D).

— J.K.