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Democrat Seamans formally enters State Senate race

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Amherst Democrat Joan Elizabeth Seamans formally announced her candidacy Saturday in next year's race in the State Senate's 61st district.

The seat will be open after Republican incumbent Michael Ranzenhofer announced a week ago that he won't seek re-election. Seamans narrowly lost to Ranzenhofer in 2018. She told supporters at the painters union district office in Cheektowaga that making health care affordable will be her highest priority.

"Many seniors have to choose between a heating bill and their prescriptions," Seamans said. "There is no easy solution and we must get it right but I will say this. As your Senator, I will prioritize the healthcare crisis New Yorkers are facing and work to fix this broken system once and for all."

Seamans could face a primary challenge for the Democratic nomination from Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa.

Republicans interested in succeeding Ranzenhofer include County Legislator Edward Rath and former state Assemblyman Ray Walter.