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O'Brien, Hanna Will Battle for 55th State Senate Seat

<br><span size="3" style="font-family: Times New Roman;">It's shaping up to be one of the hottest races instate politics and it's taking place here at home.</span>

It's shaping up to be one of the hottest races instate politics and it's taking place here at home.

On Thursday, two candidates announced their intentions to run for the New York State Senate seat now held by Jim Alesi.

The candidates are: Democrat Ted O'Brien -- minority leader of the Monroe County Legislature --

And Republican Sean Hanna --who currently serves the 130th Assembly District.

Senator Jim Alesi - a Republican - held the seat since 1996.

It now leaves it an open race between brand new candidates - both well known names in Monroe ounty.

Republican Assemblyman Sean Hanna and Democrat Ted O'Brien will have to campaign hard to win.

Democrats have a small enrollment edge over Republicans and Conservatives in the 55th.

It's a district that stretches from Monroe County to Livingston County.

O'Brien is the current minority chair of the Monroe County Legislature.

He lives in Irondequoit, the northern portion of the 55th State Senate District.

O'brien is optimistic Governor Cuomo's strong hold in the state will help.

One thing is for certain, there is no incumbent to battle.

"It's an open seat, opens it up to a challenger when you are not running against an incumbent in that district. I am really encouraged about my prospects in this race and looking forward to the challenge," said Ted O'Brien, (D) State Senate Candidate.

Meanwhile, at Republican headquarters - Assemblyman Sean Hanna announced his plans to run.

Hanna is in his first term in the 130th Assembly seat.

He was previously a Monroe County lawmaker and the regional director for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Hanna says the economy and jobs are his focus.

He's not concerned that Sen. Alesi's past tarnished the party's chances:

"I am very confident that we are going to do it. Anything that happened with Jim Alesi had nothing to do with the Republican Party, I am going to be out talking to about Republican principles," said Sean Hanna, (R) State Senate Candidate.

Senator Alesi was recently involved in a couple controverseys.

He was one of only four Republicans in the senate to vote "yes" for same sex marriage in New York.. That cost hm support from the party.

Alesi also filed and later dropped a lawsuit against a perinton couple when he fell from a ladder and broke his leg in their home.

Senator Alesi was traveling and could not be reached for comment during the day.

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