GLENS FALLS -- The race to replace U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, will include local political activist and bakery owner Matt Funiciello.

Funiciello announced his intention to seek the Green Party nomination in the 21st Congressional District race, a seat that opened with Owens’ decision to retire.

Funiciello’s announcement sets up a potential primary with Donald Hassig, a political activist from St. Lawrence County, who ran on the Green Party line in 2012, and has already announced his candidacy this year.

The two Green Party hopefuls are part of a crowded race.

The Democratic candidate, chosen from a field of two by county chairmen, is Aaron Woolf, a 49-year-old documentary filmmaker from Elizabethtown. Woolf is a Middlebury College graduate best known for his work in film, including the documentary “King Corn,” about farm subsidies and genetically modified crops.

Three Republicans have declared their candidacy: Elise Stefanik, a businesswoman and former White House policy adviser from Willsboro; Joseph Gilbert, a retired U.S. Army major and tea party leader from St Lawrence County; and Jamie Wallor, a political consultant from Hamilton County.

Republican chairmen have said Matt Doheny, the Republican candidate in 2010 and 2012, is considering an entry into the race.

Hassig was in the race in 2012 but dropped out days before the election and endorsed Owens. Hassig received more than 3,600 votes, about 2 percent of the total vote.

The Green Party pulled its endorsement of Hassig less than a month before the election after Hassig said at a campaign forum that Mexican farm workers should be deported. Hassig said party leaders misunderstood the intention of his comments.

Funiciello has owned and run Rock Hill Bakehouse in South Glens Falls since 1992 and opened Rock Hill Cafe in Glens Falls in 2002. He is a board member and actively involved in both the Glens Falls Food Co-op and Art in the Public Eye.

On his Facebook page — “Matt For Congress — NY District 21” — Funiciello lays out his issues in this way:

“I am active in the peace movement. I have lobbied for a living wage and for other social justice issues. I am against all corporate welfare and unfair taxation. I am against the (Affordable Care Act) and am for single-payer health care.”

He had no additional comment Tuesday.

Funiciello will hold a volunteer organizational rally at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Rock Hill offices on Route 9 in Moreau.

(1) comment

Carey Campbell
Carey Campbell

Thank you for Green Party story about Green Party candidate and political activist and bakery owner Matt Funiciello. I know Matt Funiciello. This successful Green Party businessman is dedicated, hard working, disciplined. Perhaps more important, and more needed in today's political environment, Matt Funiciello is a Green Party gentleman. Mr. Funiciello over the years has proven himself to be patient, tolerant, a great listener. Matt Funiciello has been able to build bridges of understanding among Green Party progressives, liberals, centrists, and conservatives. Matt Funiciello understand we need to grow eco for the economy. Matt Funiciello's positive Green Party Green New Deal proposals are winners. Solar jobs. Wind jobs. Geothermal jobs. Weatherization jobs. Rail Jobs. Matt would make a great congressman. Matt Funiciello is the kind, thoughtful, caring congressman we need.

Welcome to the discussion.

Comments will not be posted if any of the following rules are violated:
- Comments must be contained to the topic of the articles only.
- Comments must be civil in tone and cannot contain personal insults directed toward another reader.
- Profanities cannot be used, including abbreviations or acronyms.
- Comments critical of crime or accident victims are not allowed.
- Comments that imply guilt for those arrested are not allowed.
- Comments that are potentially libelous, including those that contain accusations not supported by facts are not allowed.
- Comments that appear to be taunting others who comment are not allowed.