By the end of this week, State Sen. Robert E. Antonacci could be a lame duck.
The state's political parties have an Aug. 15 deadline to file nominations for open state Supreme Court justice seats. And on July 23, Onondaga Conservative Committee Chairman Russ Johnson said, Antonacci was among the people who interviewed for that party's backing for a seat in District 5.
So less than a year into his first term, it would appear the senator is already looking for a new opportunity. We can't say that for sure, though, because Antonacci has yet to publicly discuss why he tossed his name into the judicial ring. He has dodged questions from news media about the issue, including The Citizen. And he's significantly scaled back his previously active social media activity.
That's a problem.
Regardless of who emerges as judicial candidates this week, the voters in Antonacci's district, which includes significant portions of Auburn and Cayuga County, deserve to hear from their senator about his commitment to the job he was elected to perform.
Some political insiders have suggested Antonacci was disenchanted by the way the process in Albany works, that he was especially disappointed with his own lack of clout as a member of the Senate's minority conference.
We have a message for the senator and anyone else in that situation (which happens to include all five state legislators currently representing Cayuga County in Albany): You were elected first and foremost to fight for the constituents in your district; if you can't muster the energy to do that work because the Democrats are in control, then step aside.
No matter what happens with these judicial seats, Antonacci needs to publicly address his commitment to the people of the 50th Senate District, and he needs to do it now.
The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Michelle Bowers, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.