Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, the longtime Democrat from Kenmore who has been in Albany since 1976, will be retiring at the end of his term. He represents the Town of Tonawanda, the City of Tonawanda, parts of the City of North Tonawanda, and the Village of Kenmore. The conservative Democrat is the longtime chairman of the Assembly economic development committee.
His heavily Democrat-enrolled district is coveted by progressives, including Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Jeremy Zellner. Zellner is expected to seek the seek, but the Town of Tonawanda resident has a brash style and is a controversial figure inside the party. He is unlikely to avoid a primary.
Austin Tylec, the popular North Tonawanda Alderman, is being prodded to seek the Assembly seat. He is an attractive, energetic, and well-known figure inside the party — with a proven ability to mobilize the Democrat electorate in the parts of the district that fall inside the City of North Tonawanda.
Tylec is an architect by profession and has advanced a series of quality of life initiatives in the city, despite being the only Democrat elected to that government.
Republicans are encouraging Jennifer Stergion to seek the seat. Stergion is a professor and is a former candidate for Attorney General. Republicans are expected to wage an all-out effort for the State Senate’s 60th district, which encompasses two-thirds of the 140th Assembly district.
Recruiting a Senate candidate in the 60th district that works well with Assembly candidates (the 149th Assembly district is also open, and also Democrat-leaning) will be critical to retaking the State Senate chamber. It will also be an early test of Karl Simmeth‘s leadership of the Erie County Republican Party.
Schimminger says that he wants to spend more time with his family.