What started out as a 'just a rumor' about New Hartford's Claudia Tenney (R-NY101 Assembly) now seems to be quickly developing into all-out campaign to primary two-term Republican Congressman Richard Hanna, sources say.

Tenney, who is up for re-election in her Assembly District this year, is now said to be in the midst of a petition drive to garner the minimum 1250 valid signatures needed to be placed on the June Republican primary ballot.

"The petitions for Claudia are being printed up as we speak," a political insider told WIBX News this morning.  Tenney made her intentions clear to Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long last night, who then announced the news to committee members, according to one person who attended last night's Conservative meeting in Albany.

Polling For Details

Reports that Tenney was conducting a poll that hinted at a potential congressional run were confirmed this morning, after people in this area who received the live polling phone calls in the last few days, contacted WIBX.

First News with Keeler in the Morning

Tenney's District, one of the longest in the Assembly, stretches from Herkimer and Oneida

I think Claudia does a great job representing the people of her Assembly District, like nobody else can, and I think that's where she should stay... - Joe Hobika, Utica Republican Chair

Counties, narrowly down into Orange County in Southern New York. Tenney is up for re-election to her Assembly seat in November and would most likely be forced to give up that campaign in order to run against Hanna,

A Good Political Move?

An open Assembly seat at this stage of the game, in the abnormally shaped 101st District, concerns Utica City Republican Chair Joseph Hobika Jr..

"I think Claudia does a great job representing the people of her Assembly District, like nobody else can - and I think that's where she should stay," said Hobika.  He expressed concern that with Tenney's exit from the Assembly, the Greater Utica region would be in jeopardy of losing local representation as her seat might be lost to someone from downstate.  Hobika went on to say that he feels Congressman Richard Hanna has done 'an exceptional job' representing the 22nd Congressional District, and said it would be a big loss for the area if he wasn't there.

Two additional candidates have declared intent to challenge Hanna in the June Primary.  Michael Kicinski, of Earlville, a member of the Norwich Tea Party Patriots, and Michael Vasquez, of Binghamton, an insurance agent, both Conservatives.

Hanna easily beat Kicinski in a primary challenge back in 2012.

Calls to Assemblywoman Tenney and Congressman Richard Hanna have been placed by WIBX today and have not yet been returned.

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