Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hanft Hijacking Bounces Beth

The unraveling of the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee continues, with a war brewing over the executive committee's selection for Family Court. Former Troy City Councilwoman Beth Walsh was bypassed by the committee, with controversial Troy attorney Richard Hanft getting the party's backing.

The bouncing of Beth Walsh came after Democrats short-circuited the candidacy of East Greenbush Town Justice Diane Schilling. Schilling is s aid to have not wanted to primary for the job, but that does not appear to be the case with Walsh. Democratic insiders tell us that Walsh, the wife of Troy City Court Judge Chris Maier, is gearing up for an intra-party battle against Hanft, who is supported by county Democrat Boss Tom Wade.

From her runs for City Council and her husband's electoral bids, and alliance with many Democrats, Walsh would appear to have a campaign apparatus ready to go.

The primary battle may be a tempting one for Walsh. Hanft decisively lost a race for Troy City Court in 2004 and does not appear to have a base in the county. His main supporter, Wade, saw his candidate for 43rd State Senate, Brian Premo, get thumped in a 2008 primary. Despite robo-calls from President Obama, Wade couldn't even deliver Rensselaer County for Scott Murphy, the eventual winner of the 20th Congressional District race. Wade's endorsement is likely to be a non-factor in the contest and some Democrats are openly wondering if City Chairman Frank LaPosta will use his new-found clout to support Beth Walsh.