Surrounded by family and friends in his Westvale home on Sunday, former State Fair Director Peter Cappuccilli announced his desire to seek the Republican Party's nomination for the 25th Congressional District seat that Rep. James Walsh recently announced he would not seek reelection for.
Walsh, who is in his 20th year in Congress, announced Jan. 24 he would retire when his term expires in January 2009.
Although Cappuccilli has been involved in politics for decades, this would be his first campaign for public office.
In a letter mailed last week to more than 1,000 Republican Party committeemen, Cappuccilli asked them to consider supporting his campaign.
Cappuccilli, 57, of Geddes, who ran the fair for 10 years, is the first Republican to enter the race.
With his wife, Marilyn, and his children, grandchildren and siblings by his side, he pledged to represent everyone in the district equally and fairly."
The chief operating officer of the politically-influential Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith law firm since 2005, Cappuccilli said he would bring successful business experiences to Washington.
At the Fair, Cappuccilli oversaw a year-round staff of 75 full-time employees and a $15 million budget.
Cappuccilli has also worked as vice president of marketing of the Syracuse Crunch hockey club; co-owner of McCormick's Nuts Inc.; founder of Cappy's Real Estate/Cappy's Caldwell Banker; and founder Of Camex Realty, a commercial and residental real estate development firm.
Cappuccilli and his family have been involved in Republican Party politics for decades.
Cappuccilli was the Onondaga and Madison counties coordinator of George Pataki's first campaign for governor. He was a campaign manager and special assistant for former U.S. Rep. Gary Lee of Ithaca. He has worked on the campaigns of numerous local candidates.
Cappuccilli and his father, Peter Cappuccilli Sr., have both served as vice chairmen of the Onondaga County Republican Committee.