(WBEN) It looks as if Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti might have at least one familiar name challenging him at the ballot box this year.
Tea Party activist Rus Thompson is out with a Facebook posting saying he'd like to set up an exploratory committee to look at running against Grisanti in the as an Independence Party member.
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Thompson is an Independence party member who has worked closely with outspoken Republican Carl Paladino.
Thompson's postings Friday morning says he's run for office three times before and that he has quote "never seen the anger i have seen this year against any candidate."
Grisanti was one of the swing votes on gay marriage and holds a strongly Democratic seat . He is a Republican in a very democratic district and has been criticized by Thompson and other conservatives-- like Thompson ally Carl Paladino-- who say he leans too far away from basic conservative Republican principals.
Albany Democrats are likely to target Grisanti too- and establishment Republicans see the seat as a way for them to hold their control of the Senate.
Thompson lives on Grand Island, Grisanti in North Buffalo. The newly re-drawn 60th Senate District stretches from North Tonawanda to Derby, taking in sliver of Buffalo's riverfront, before embracing Hamburg, Orchard Park and continuing on down toward Derby
The Buffalo News recently reported that former County Executive Joel Giambra- a key Grisanti confidant- has had some very early and preliminary talks on Grisanti's behalf, with Democratic Party Chair Jeremy Zellner, about an endorsement.
"Several sources report that Giambra is now proposing that Democrats authorize Republican Grisanti to also run on their line this year, assuming he survives a Republican primary threatened by Kevin Stocker of Kenmore," The News wrote
" Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner said he and Giambra have engaged only in fleeting conversations about the possibility, but have not talked seriously." the report says.