Wieder plans third run for Orange-Rockland Assembly seat

Rockland County legislator Aron Wieder announced plans this week to run again for the 98th Assembly District seat, making him the second Democrat and fourth candidate looking to represent a broad swath of southern Orange County and part of the populous town of Ramapo in neighboring Rockland.

Wieder, a 42-year-old Spring Valley resident who said he works as a salesman in the food industry, is in his 6th year as a county legislator and served as Democratic majority leader for two years. He lost three-way primary races for Assembly in both 2012 and 2014.

After announcing his plans for a third run on Facebook last Sunday, Wieder told the Times Herald-Record he didn’t participate in the Democrats’ endorsement convention on May 31 because he had “literally decided to run yesterday.” Democratic committee members endorsed Krystal Serrano, a Monroe resident who also competed in the 2014 Assembly primary, to run for the office at the convention.

Karl Brabenec, a Republican and former Deerpark supervisor, won the seat two years ago in a three-way race, beating second-place finisher Elisa Tutini by a slim margin after a court fight over absentee ballots. Brabenec succeeded Annie Rabbitt, a Greenwood Lake Republican who left the Assembly in 2014 after being elected Orange County clerk. The seat stayed empty for all of 2014.

John Allegro, a Monroe resident and leader of the United Monroe citizens group, already has announced plans to challenge Brabenec for the Republican nomination in a primary. He created a campaign committee to raise money on June 23.

Assembly and state Senate candidates are now collecting petition signatures to run and must file them by July 14. Assuming all four announced candidates for the 98th Assembly District submit petitions that withstand any challenges, two pairs will duel in primaries on Sept. 13: Allegro and Brabenec for the Republican nomination, and Serrano and Wieder for the Democratic nomination. With third-party lines, more than two candidates could make it to the Nov. 8 general election.

The Orange County section of the 98th District includes Port Jervis and the towns of Deerpark, Greenville, Minisink, Warwick, Monroe and Tuxedo.

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