By: Mark Weiner |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An entrepreneur from Herkimer County launched a third-party campaign Monday for the 22nd Congressional District seat that Rep. Richard Hanna will leave when he retires at the end of the year.

Martin Babinec, 61, of Little Falls, said he has received the endorsement of the Independence Party to run on its ballot line in the November election.

Babinec joins an already crowded field of three Republicans and two Democrats who are seeking their party’s designation for the open House seat.

A seventh candidate, David Pasick of Herkimer County, has received the endorsement of the Libertarian Party.

Babinec said he has helped create thousands of jobs in Upstate New York, most recently as the founder of Upstate Venture Connect, a nonprofit that connects startup companies with resources.

The Little Falls native made his fortune as the founder of TriNet, a cloud-based human resource company that began in 1988 and continued to grow into a company with more than $2 billion in annual sales and more than 2,500 employees.

He still serves on the board of directors of the company, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.

The graduate of Herkimer County Community College and Shippensburg University said he began his career as a human resource manager with Navy Exchanges, where he served as a civilian.

Babinec moved his family back to Little Falls in 1999, where he and his wife, Krista, raised their three children.

He formally launched his campaign Monday night at the Black Box Theater in Little Falls.

Republicans and Democrats may not know their nominee in the 22nd District until the June 28 congressional primaries in New York.

Republicans Steve Wells, of Cazenovia; Claudia Tenney, of New Hartford; and George Phillips, of Endwell; are likely to face off in the GOP congressional primary.

On the Democratic side, Broome County Legislator Kim Myers, of Vestal, is opposed by David Gordon, of Utica, a former Oneida County legislator.

The 22nd Congressional District covers all of Madison, Cortland, Chenango and Oneida counties and part of Oswego, Broome, Herkimer, and Tioga counties.

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