Former Glens Falls Mayor Robert Regan announced Sunday he has formally entered the state Assembly race, setting up an intra-county battle for the Republican nomination with Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec, who announced his candidacy last week.
"Dan has his strengths. I have mine, Ultimately the voters can compare the two and decide who can serve the area best," Regan said in a telephone interview after he announced his candidacy.
Regan said his campaign will center around changes he brought to Glens Falls during his tenure as mayor from 1998 to 2005.
"I think if you look at where Glens Falls was in 1997 and you look where it is today, and you realize the dedication and the commitment and the work ethic that went into the transformation that Glens Falls has undergone — that whole approach is what I would bring to this position," he said.
Regan cited his work for Empire State Development Corp. after he was mayor, and before he was mayor as an aide to state Sen. Ronald Stafford, R-Plattsburgh, as attributes.
"I am fully familiar with the inner workings of state government, how decisions get made and how policy goals become law," he said.
Stec could not be reached via phone or email for comment on Sunday. Regan and Stec, both Republicans, are the only two declared candidates, so far, in the race for the Assembly seat that will be open because Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, R-Willsboro, is retiring.
Other have said they are considering the race.
Stec received an endorsement on Sunday from an Essex County Republican who decided not to run.
Lorilee Sheehan, a teacher from Willsboro who had announced Thursday she was considering the race, said Sunday she has decided not to run and has instead endorsed Stec.
Stec has emphasized his regional focus in the campaign, and touted his recently becoming an Adirondack 46er, a distinction for people who have climbed all of the Adirondack High Peaks.
He has said that his membership in the Adirondack Mountain Club and his service on the Intercounty Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks has helped him understand regional issues.
Regan, too, on Sunday, said the race is about the region.
He said he doesn’t think of the election in terms of rivalry between Glens Falls and Queensbury.
"I think it’s about representing the region as a whole," he said.
Republican chairmen in Warren, Washington, Essex and Saratoga counties have agreed on a process to make a district-wide Republican endorsement by March 29.
The Saratoga County Republican Committee will make the first of four individual county endorsement votes on Saturday, said county Republican Chairman John "Jasper" Nolan.
Regan would not say if he would run in a primary if he does not receive the Republican endorsement.
"I’ll decide that later," he said.
Two other Republicans have said they are considering the race.
Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Wood said she has sent letters of interest to each of the four county Republican committees.
She said she will make a definitive decision whether to run after the GOP endorsement process.
Doug Hoffman, an accountant from Lake Placid, said he is considering running for either state Assembly or Congress, and will decide once new district boundaries are finalized.
On the Democratic side, Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas has said he will decide whether to run in a week or so.