SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Longtime state Senator Dave Valesky is facing his first challenger in years this fall, and it’s from his own party.

Syracuse University administrator Rachel May plans to run against Valesky in the Democratic primaries.

Valesky is a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, which is aligned with Republicans in an effort to maintain Senate control.

May claims IDC is preventing change in New York, and is part of a statewide effort to challenge members of the group.

She says one hurdle is getting her name out there, but people are already responding to her campaign.

"We've already made thousands of phone calls in the district and connected with a lot of people who've pledged to vote for anyone but an IDC member, so I'm hopeful that we already have a pretty good basis of support,” said May.

Valesky responded to his challenger by saying there will be a time for politics, but his focus right now is on creating a state budget.