Second Republican joins race for the 21st
Add the name Steven Vasquez to theSteven Vasquez is seventh candidate for congressional seat
By CAROL DeMARE, Staff writer
First published: Saturday, March 22, 2008 list of candidates seeking the 21st Congressional District seat being vacated by Democrat Michael McNulty.
Vasquez, a 33-year-old businessman, is a Republican who would have to run in a primary against Jim Buhrmaster, a Schenectady County legislator who on Wednesday became the first Republican to announce his candidacy. Vasquez is the seventh announced candidate for the seat; five Democrats are also in the running.
Though he’s a resident of the Saratoga County community of Ballston Lake —
outside the 21st district — it shouldn’t present a legal obstacle to his candidacy. According to Charlie Diamond, a longtime McNulty aide, election law allows anyone who lives in the state to run for a congressional seat, so Vasquez should be covered if he fulfills his promise to move into the district if elected.
The district stretches over seven counties. The only part of Saratoga County inside the district is the town and village of Waterford.
“It shouldn’t be an issue,” Vasquez said. “I’ve been a Capital District resident for over half of my life, and I’ve worked in the 21st District, including Troy and Albany, and I’ve associated with people in the community,” he said.
His Web site, http://www.steven2008.com, says that after graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he started ReQuest, a consumer electronics company that makes high-end stereo equipment. His Web site creditVasquez with inventing the consumer media server back in 1997 with the AudioReQuest MP3 home digital music system.
His interest in running for political office stems from his background, he said. “I’m a tech-savvy entrepreneur who knows how to bring jobs to Tech Valley,” he said. “New York is overburdened with taxes, and that creates barriers to businesses that want to move into the state as well as those looking to find jobs in the area.”
The New York City native also cited a need “to focus on fixing our fiscal house and taking care of Social Security. With the economy in a recession, the dollar falling, rising gas and food prices, the mortgage crisis, and massive deficit spending, Washington has the wrong priorities,” he said.
Vasquez received his bachelor’s degree from RPI in 1996 and two master’s degrees in 1998, one in business administration from RPI’s Lally School of Business and another in engineering.
Carol DeMare can be reached at 454-5431 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.