Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time to Go, Says Our Joe

The most important and influential political leader from the Capital Region is saying goodbye. State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno has decided not to seek re-election.

For the past 14 years, Joe Bruno has been a giant, providing an unprecedented level of support and attention to the Capital Region and his home base of Rensselaer County.

Bruno's leadership meant good times for Rensselaer County Republicans. But Bruno has not been shy about helping out Democrats over the years, having had close relationships at various times with Democrats in Troy, Rensselaer, East Greenbush, North Greenbush and other communities.

Whether you agree or not, regardless of your political stripes, Bruno's departure means big, big losses for the area.

On the Republican side, Assemblyman Roy McDonald is getting a look from Bruno's people, who control the Committee to Fill Vacancies on petitions. Is County Executive Kathy Jimino interested?

What is really interesting is the speculation that Joe Bruno's challenger on the Democrat side, Brian Premo, may be seeing some turbulence in the days to come. Is there a primary battle for Premo, possibly from a Saratoga County pol, in the future?

Most elected officials were gracious and complimentary about Senator Bruno. It was sad to see an absolutely classless statement from the state Democrat chair about the Senator's departure. When Chairwoman O'Neill uses the word "flush", is she referring to cards or what Dems plan to do to upstate New York now that Bruno is leaving?