The field of possible candidates running for the seat being vacated by Congressman Richard Hanna is narrowing.

Oneida County Executive and Republican Anthony Picente says he will not be seeking the office being vacated by Rep. Richard Hanna so that he can finish what he has started as county executive.

A written statement issued by Picente's office reads as follows:

"Whether or not to run for Congress is a difficult, serious decision to contemplate. Over the past few weeks I have truly been humbled by the number of people in our community who have urged me to run for Congress and I thank them.  I want to thank my family and friends for their constant support.  I especially want to thank my wife, Eleanor. She is my better half and my most important advisor.

During this process one question never wavered from my mind. How can I best serve my community? I love my job. I go to work every day with one goal: Move this region forward. Oneida County residents have elected me for an unprecedented three terms. It is the only office I have ever sought and it is the only office I have ever wanted. 

My administration has made great strides. Our government finances are a model for fiscal conservatism throughout the state. Low property taxes. Increased credit ratings. streamlined operations. Lowest workforce since the 70's. Increased shared services and significant consolidation. Multiple operating surpluses. Countywide 911 consolidation. Professional medical examiner. Eliminated 10 elected positions and the list goes on.

We lead the way in economic development in the entire region. Unemployment is at 5%.Our County Airport and Business Park has over 5,000 employees and is one of 6 FAA UAS test sites. We are rebuilding our downtowns and growing our agricultural sector. The Oneida Indian Nation and the County are now partners. Nanotechnology is a reality with the announcements of GE and AMS. Also, with our partners, we will build a state of the art hospital, the first in over 20 years in NY State.  

We have many new initiatives that move this region forward. Vision 2020. The Total Health Initiative. Action To Realign Government Operations. Mohawk Valley Anti-Poverty Initiative. Agri-Tourism 5 year plan. New Downtown Housing Initiative. Partners in Prosperity: Infrastructure, STEM, Public Safety, Arts and Culture, and many more. 

There is still much work to do and I want to finish what I have started. At this time, remaining as the Oneida County Executive is the only place I want to be. I have decided not to run for Congress but to finish the job the people of Oneida County have entrusted in me.

Being a member of the 115th Congress in the United States House of Representatives is a gigantic responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly by anyone. The next Representative from our Congressional District needs to have the intelligence, forethought, temperament and seriousness to be worthy of the voters of our region. We should demand these qualities and we should not settle for anything less. We need a Member who will bring real solutions to our nation's problems and work to actually solve them. We need someone who will be effective at getting things done. I have said from the beginning what we don't need is someone who will just say "no" and use the politics of destruction that all too often turn into the politics of implosion.  I will remain active in the Congressional process because it matters a great deal to all of us who our next Representative will be. I look forward to voting and supporting the person who will be the most effective Congressman.” – Anthony J. Picente Jr."

One week ago Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a Democrat, was the first potential candidate to officially pull his hat out of the ring.

Brindisi and Picente are the only two candidates who have, thus far, officially announced their intentions not to run for the 22nd Congressional District seat.

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