By: Chelsea Diana | Albany Business Review

Martin Babinec, a serial entreprenuer from Little Falls, New York, is running for U.S. Congress as an independent candidate in the 22nd Congressional District.

Babinec is the founder of TriNet Group, a cloud-based company that administers payroll and health benefits that he started in San Francisco’s Bay Area in 1988.

Six years ago, he created Upstate Venture Connect, a nonprofit looking to build the startup ecosystem in upstate New York.

“Martin is running for Congress to create an environment where more people have the opportunity to pursue their own American dream right here in upstate NY — keeping our families together as we grow stronger communities,” Babinec’s campaign website says.

“If you support ending politics as usual then join the movement to elect a true independent and outsider to Congress.”

The Independence Party of New York has endorsed his bid for the seat.

The 22nd Congressional District runs through central New York, including all of Chenango, Cortland, Madison and Oneida counties, and parts of Broome, Herkimer, Oswego and Tioga counties. It includes the cities of Utica, Rome, Cortland and Binghamton.

Babinec, who grew up in Little Falls, left upstate for Silicon Valley, where he founded TriNet Group. He served as the CEO for 20 years and was chairman until 2010. The company, which went public in 2014, employs about 2,300.
He moved back to upstate to build up the startup ecosystem here. Babinec has invested in many upstate New York startups, including Saratoga’s OutMatch, formerly known as

(Learn more about Babinec from my “10 minutes with” interview with him last year here.)

The seat is being vacated by Republican Rep. Richard Hanna, who retires at the end of the year. Six other candidates are vying for the seat.

Chelsea Diana covers technology and money.