Political unknown picked for Rep. Owens's seat

Democratic officials in retiring Rep. Bill Owens’s (D-N.Y.) district have unanimously named documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf as their candidate to run for the seat.

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The decision leaves the party without a big-name Democrat to take on Republicans in a race that became more competitive for the GOP with Owens’s decision to retire.

Woolf lives in the district but splits his time between there and Brooklyn, N.Y., where he owns a food store. He has written, directed and produced multiple award-winning documentary films.

According to a local reporter, two other Democrats were interviewed by the party, but only one in addition to Woolf was considered.

Washington County Democratic Party Chairman Sheila Comar said in a statement on behalf of the other officials that Woolf is the best candidate to continue “Owens' work to protect our seniors and the Medicare guarantee, middle class families, and reflect the independent spirit that makes the North Country strong.”

“Woolf is a problem solver who will take a commonsense approach and is committed to working together to find solutions that create more jobs and spur New York's economy,” she said.

Other more high-profile Democrats, including former Rep. Scott Murphy, have opted out of the race.

Republicans have begun to coalesce around former George W. Bush official Elise Stefanik, though she’s already facing a primary challenge. Former GOP congressional candidate Matt Doheny is considering running as well.