UPDATE: Bill Nojay, who passed away just four days before the primary, will remain on the ballot against Rick Milne. If Nojay wins, the party chairs from each county his district covers will convene to select a candidate for the ballot.
ORIGINAL: Assemblyman Bill Nojay has spent four years in Albany. As he prepares for what he hopes is a third term, he will face a primary challenger – just as he did back in 2012.
Nojay says he’s proud of his record in Albany, especially fighting to keep the state budget low, but his primary challenger, Rick Milne, says the district needs more.
“I have voted the district, which is advice given to me by our leader Brian Kolk,” said Nojay. “He said ‘you might have views that’re different. But at the end of the day, you are a representative of the people that elected you, so always vote according to their best interests.’ I’ve done that for four years.”
“I think it’s hard to make that statement when the people I’ve spoken to have said they don’t feel they’re being listened to,” said Milne. “Primarying someone is not generally something someone in the party wants to do, but I feel what I bring to the table is the ability to be more engaging with our residents and with our local leaders.”
Both candidates say they’re aware that the presidential race could affect the elections down ticket, so we asked them to clarify where they stand on their party’s nominee, Donald Trump.
“I will admittedly say I’ve been concerned, like many of our residents, about both of our two mainstream candidates,” Milne said. “There’re some other candidates that are out there, like Gary Johnson, that I’m reading about a little bit. I will say that in this case, I cannot vote for the Democratic candidate.”
“There’s an old saying in politics that elections are not referendums, they’re choices,” Nojay said. “And given the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I’m going to go with Donald Trump.”
And while both candidates hope the Republican voters choose them, don’t expect this race to get ugly.
“Bill and I would vote the same way on a lot of things,” Milne said. “We’re both Republicans.”
“I don’t like negative campaigning and I will not do negative campaigning,” said Nojay. “I don’t like to do compare and contrast in a way that talks negatively about any political candidate, Democrat or Republican.”
The 133rd Assembly District includes parts of Pittsford and extends all the way through Honeoye Falls, Geneseo, Hornell and Nunda.
Whoever wins the Republican primary on September 13 will face Democratic challenger Barbara Baer in the general election.