Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sweeney out? Treadwell in?

Elizabeth Benjamin at the Albany Times Union reports today:

Speculation has mounted over the past week regarding U.S. Rep. John Sweeney’s future. Rumors are flying that the Clifton Park Republican might not seek re-election this fall.

Between his health, his son’s guilty plea to assault charges, a serious Democratic challenger, the DOJ pulling his financial filings and the Congressional Winter Challenge uproar, Sweeney is under a lot of stress and has been for awhile.

Sweeney's health problems have undermined his ability to perform his job all of this year. News of his wife's ethically challenged sweet deal skimming 10% off his campaign contribtions, his son's behavioral problems, Sweeney's ski junkets, close personal relationships with lobbyists, the DOJ investigating his personal finances, and the policcy failures of he and his Republican colleagues in Washington have dominated the news the last several months as Democratic challenger Kirsten Gillibrand has caused Sweeney further concern with the strongest challenge he has ever faced to his role as the Washington Republican establishments representative to upstate New York.

Asked whether her boss intends to remain in the race, Melissa Carlson, Sweeney’s deputy chief of staff, responded:

"Congressman Sweeney has never backed away from a challenge.

At this point, his priorities are taking care of his health, serving his constituents and doing his job. When the time is right, he will make an official announcement."

Alexander "Sandy" Treadwell, former state Republican chairman and current national committeeman had previously been rumored to be considering a primary challenge to Sweeney.

An ally of Gov. George Pataki, Treadwell has been eyeing the 20th CD for some time, and has made no secret of his desire to run for congress. Sweeney and Pataki have been on the outs with each other for sometime as the New York State Republican party has fragmented under the pressure of their two overly ambitious ego's.

Sweeney has long been known to have little interest in his current role as the Bush-DeLay representative to the 20th district. He has had his eye on Pataki's job for awhile but failed to prepare in time for this years election. Are his health problems serious enough to cause him to join his friends lobbying on Washington's K-Street?

More will be revealed....


Lizzy said...

The shift is starting.

Nov. 06 - New York will have Eliot, Sean, Kristen, Eric and John Hall.

Hudson said...

I don't want to get overoptimistic here, but parsing his spokesperson's statement carefully, one could easily conclude that there is some truth to this rumor about Sweeney.

If he were definitely staying in the race, she would deny the rumor. By saying "When the time is right, he will make an official announcement," she acknowledges that this is under consideration -- because there would be no need for him to make an official announcement if he is in the race, right?

Or has Sweeney not "officially" announced?