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Baker withdraws from Democratic side of 27th congressional district race

A Clarence woman who was hoping to take on front-runner Nate McMurray for the Democratic nomination in the 27th congressional district race has dropped out.

Melodie Baker withdrew from the race late Friday. In a statement, Baker said she was motivated "to serve and make changes on issues like education, health care and economic opportunity." She said she'll continue to work on those issues through the non-profit organizations she's worked for. Baker is education director for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. 

The 27th congressional district has no current representative following the resignation of Chris Collins, R-Clarence. McMurray has been endorsed by nearly all of the county Democratic committees in the sprawling district.

Baker also ruled out running for the 61st State Senate seat being vacated by Republican Michael Ranzenhofer.

Here is Baker's full statement:

I am beyond grateful for all of the support and encouragement I have received from residents throughout New York’s 27th Congressional District and beyond.  It has been an honor and a privilege to have met so many wonderful people through the process of exploring a run for Congress and I’m excited for the friendships that have been formed with Democratic leaders, community activists, and members of the Labor movement.  

For me, this year will not be the time for a campaign for Congress and while I appreciate the encouragement to run for Senate District 61, I am planning to support another Democrat for that office. 

My motivation to serve and make change on issues like education, health care, and economic opportunity has not changed and I’ll continue my work to improve policies as an advocate through the nonprofit organizations I’ve worked with for the past 14 years. 

Thank you to everyone who supported me, encouraged me, and listened to me.  And thank you to all who step up to run for office and serve.  Our part of New York needs more voices to bring change.