YONKERS – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano exclusively told News 12’s Tara Rosenblum that he has officially decided to throw his hat in the ring for the New York State Senate.

The two-term mayor says he is adding his name to the crowded list of Democrats hoping to fill the Senate seat vacated by fellow Democrat George Latimer, who won the race for Westchester County executive in November.

Spano can’t run for mayor again because of term limits, so the seat gives him the chance to return to familiar territory. He previously served nearly two decades in the state Assembly.

He is also a former county legislator and the ninth of 16 children in one of Westchester’s most well-known and powerful political families.

Spano told News 12 that his years of experience at all levels of government make him uniquely qualified to serve.

There are currently four other people hoping to fill the seat. The Democrats include Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, Bedford Town Supervisor Chris Burdick and Bernie Sanders activist Kat Brezler. Republican attorney Sarmad Khojasteh has also announced his candidacy.

There is technically no race yet since Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t set a special election, but he is expected to set a date for as early as March.

Republican Dan Schorr told News 12 Wednesday night that he is strongly considering a run. The Democrats will not have a primary. Party leaders have called for a mini-convention, where roughly 600 district leaders will pick the nominee.

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