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Kessner likely to drop challenge to Senator Valesky

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Jean Kessner has gotten her wish and will likely drop her challenge of state Sen. Dave Valesky in Democratic Party primary.

Kessner, a Democrat herself and Syracuse Common Councilor, was circulating petitions to challenge Valesky (D-Oneida), unless he rejoined the mainstream Democrats in the state Senate.

Valesky has been a member of the Independent Democratic Caucus, which controls the Senate along with the minority Republicans, since 2011.

"If all of the news holds from last night, I said this is a wonderful outcome," Kessner said Thursday, referring to news Wednesday night that the IDC would rejoin the Democrats in the Senate following the November election.

Kessner had said she didn't take issue with Valesky's politics, just whom he caucused with.

"It’s very hard to be a Democratic Party that works hard for a Democratic candidate, and stand by and watch the person you gave money to, and worked for and all that, to watch that person give control of the Senate to the Republicans," Kessner said.

She'll drop her primary challenge so long as Valesky follows along with the handful of other IDC members.

For Valesky, where previously the IDC's close relationship spared him a challenge from Republicans, he may now face a campaign from the GOP.

Tom Dadey, the Onondaga County Republican Party chairman said Thursday morning, "we are exploring all of our options, including recruiting a Republican to run for this important Upstate Senate seat."