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Joe GeigerJoe GeigerJoe Geiger announced his candidacy for the NY State Senate 54th District Seat being vacated by Mike Nozzolio at a series of press conferences on Sunday.  The District includes portions or all of Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Cayuga and Tompkins counties.

Geiger is one of seven candidates vying to be the Republican candidate in November's general election.  Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming received the Republican Party endorsement in May, beating out a dozen candidates.  Businessman Floyd Rayburn immediately announced he would challenge Helming in the September 13 primary, and he filed the required signatures by the July 14 deadline.  Geiger has also filed, along with Cayuga County businessman Bobby Massarini, retired Greece police officer Jon Ritter, Lyons Town Supervisor Brian Manktelow, and Sean T. Hanna, who previously served in the New York State Assembly.

On the Democrat's side two candidates will run in the primary.  Geneva City Supervisor Charles Evangelista will challenge Rose Town Supervisor Kenan Baldridge, who won the Democratic Party endorsement.

Geiger discharged from active duty in the U.S. Army on July 7th, after 7 years of service as a combat operations officer.  He was not able to campaign for the open seat while on active duty.  Although other candidates in the race have been campaigning for several weeks, Geiger says he believes he has plenty of time to become known throughout the District.

"People aren't going to make up their minds on who to vote for until they've had the chance to see everyone running.  They want to talk to you, look you in the eye, and decide whether you will really fight for them in Albany.  The only vote that counts for the Republican nomination is the primary on September 13," said Geiger.

Despite not having announced his candidacy and with no official Party backing, Geiger finished third in a field of 11 candidates vying for the GOP nomination at a caucus held in May.  Geiger is a native of the District, having grown up in Wayne County.  He left home for Colorado at the age of 17, then worked in an underground coal mine to pay for his college education.   After earning his Engineering Degree, Geiger was commissioned as an Officer in the U.S. Army.   He married Melanie, his best friend from childhood.  They spent the next several years stationed across four continents with the Army.  Geiger led combat soldiers in Afghanistan and deployed to Nangarhar, Ghazni, and Paktika.  Melanie, a PA, served as a civilian treating Army families at on-base clinics and hospitals.

"When your lives are on the line and your men are looking to you for life-and-death decisions, you learn to manage stress and stand-up in the most difficult situations.  When I look at New York politics, there is clearly a need for strong leadership that approaches problems with integrity, courage and a commitment to do what's right for taxpayers.  I hear a lot about the 'Albany Two-Step', saying one thing to voters at home, then going to Albany and doing something else with a wink-and-a-smile.   If the people of this District elect me, they'll know I've been tested in battle and will not waiver in fighting for them in Albany," said Geiger.

Geiger's final Army assignment was leading recruiting operations in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.  He transitioned off of Active Duty on July 7th and is now on Reserve status.  He and Melanie are expecting their first child on Election Day in November.

Geiger launched his campaign Sunday with press conferences scheduled in public parks in all six counties of the 54th District.

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