Sean Ryan will run for New York State Senate

Assembly democrat eyeing takeover of Chris Jacobs' seat in 2020

Mike Baggerman
September 13, 2019 - 7:00 pm

Brendan Keany

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Democrat Sean Ryan will not seek another term in the New York State Assembly because he's eyeing a different seat in Albany: State Senate.

Ryan told WBEN on Friday that he is officially running for the seat.

"I had spent a bulk of the spring and summer talking to people in Grand Island, Tonawanda, Hamburg, and Evans, about my candidacy to see how it would be received" Ryan said. "I've had great reception from all areas of the senate district. I'm happy to announce my candidacy for the senate."

Ryan said he is leaving the assembly because of the changing leadership landscape in the senate. Democrats took over the majority in the Senate from republicans in the 2018 election. He said that Western New York needs democratic leadership in the state senate because the only local representative in that house in Albany is Tim Kennedy.

The move comes in the wake of Republican Chris Jacobs' plans to leave the State Senate and run for Congress in the 27th district. The Erie County GOP has not announced any republican candidates to fill the 60th senate district.

Jeremy Zellner told WBEN that the Erie County Democrats are not entertaining any endorsements for any office until the current election cycle is over.

"The senate is going to remain democratic for a very long time," Ryan said. "We can't allow that body only to be dominated by New York City representatives. We need more democrats to represent Upstate interests and that's part of what's intriguing me to get into the senate."

Jacobs won the 2016 election for the 60th senate district with 43.1 percent of the vote. He defeated democrat Amber Small by more than ten points and 14,000 total votes. Ryan said there's always a risk in public service.

"I'm happy to put my record out for scrutiny and put my ideas out for scrutiny," Ryan said. "I feel as I have a very good pulse on the district. I'm really confident I'll be able to represent the district well."

Another potential democratic candidate for the seat is Buffalo Common Councilman Joel Feroleto, who is up for re-election this year. He said he has been approached by several democrats and community leaders about running for the seat.

"Currently, I am focused on this year's election and will consider all options after," Feroleto said.

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