Things are heating up in the 22nd Congressional District race and the primary is still two months away.

The subject line of the press release issued on Thursday morning by the Richard Hanna for Congress campaign reads- "Taxpayers Footing Bill for Claudia Tenney Job Hunt."

"Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is doing what career politicians do - she's looking out for herself, not for the people," said Hanna spokesman Michael Fandrich.

Fandrich goes on to say, Tenney's "self-centered approach to public service means local taxpayers will be on the hook for the thousands of dollars it will take to conduct two primaries for her job hunt.  Assemblywoman Tenney should come clean with voters about what office she's really running for."

At issue is the fact that Tenney has not said whether she will seek re-election in her position in the Assembly if she loses the Congressional primary against incumbent Hanna.  The primary for the Congressional race is June 24th; the one for the Assembly is September 9th, meaning that petitions for that seat are not due until July 10.  If she loses the GOP primary she would have just over two weeks to get signatures required for an Assembly run.

Earlier this month, Tenney did not seek the Conservative line on the ballot for Congress, which would leave her open to run for her Assembly seat if she loses her primary bid for Congress in June.

On March 26, 2014 Tenney issued a press release challenging Hanna to a debate.  In the release Tenney said, "Washington may deserve Richard Hanna, but our communities deserve real Republican leadership in Congress."

The Hanna campaign has not announced whether or not they will accept the offer to debate.

A Hanna spokesperson says the Congressman has neither officially accepted nor refused the offer to debate.

Michael Kicinski, of Earlville, a member of the Norwich Tea Party Patriots, has also declared his candidacy for the Congressional seat and will be on the primary ballot in June.

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

Assemblywoman Tenney has not yet responded to WIBX's request for comment.  Check back later for an update on this story.

UPDATE: 04/24/2014 12:31pm Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney Responds to Hanna Campaign Release

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is responding to WIBX's request for a comment regarding Rep. Richard Hanna's allegations with the following written statement:

"The desperate, underhanded establishment smear tactics have already begun. Emblematic of Washington's dysfunction, Richard Hanna, who twice voted to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts and voted to fund Obamacare, is trying to distract the voters from the issues at hand—issues that are important for the people of the (22nd District...) The recent personal attacks against me are a pathetic attempt to obfuscate the effect his voting record has had on the families of hard-working Americans in New York.  There is a clear choice between a proven conservative Republican leader and a tax-and-spend liberal like Richard Hanna. He refuses to agree to debate his record in front of the people. Instead, he hopes to use his millions and the millions of the GOP establishment to change the subject. The people of our District deserve better.” 



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