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Cooney to challenge Robach 

Former City Hall chief of staff Jeremy Cooney has made his decision: he's going to run against Republican State Senator Joe Robach.

Cooney launched an exploratory committee earlier this month and has been appearing before city Democratic committees in recent weeks. And in a press release today he announced his campaign for the 56th Senate District seat. The Monroe County Democratic Committee will endorse a candidate for the race at its convention next month.
click to enlarge Jeremy Cooney - FILE PHOTO
  • Jeremy Cooney

The 56th District covers Brighton, Clarkson, Gates, Greece, Hamlin, Parma, and a section of the City of Rochester which includes the University of Rochester. Robach was first elected to the office in 2002, and Democrats haven't been able to unseat him, despite several attempts.

Every year that state legislative seats are up for election, the race carries a lot of weight because of the slim majority Republicans have held in the Senate. But this year the contest carries additional weight. Two special-election victories last night have put Democrats within one seat of control over the chamber. The party could have control of the chamber now if Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat, would conference with them and not Republicans. The breakaway Independent Democratic Conference has, at least for now, rejoined with the rest of the Senate Democrats, eliminating the other substantial roadblock to the party's control of the chamber.

In a Medium post this morning, Cooney offered a sketch of his platform, saying that the Senate needs to "pass common-sense measures to make our communities safer and more sustainable, rethink and reimagine the use and recipients of economic incentives, strengthen our schools with a deeper focus on teachers and parents, and help our aging population live with the support they deserve."


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