Republican Steve McLaughlin is challenging first-term Democrat Tim Gordon for the 108th Assembly District.
McLaughlin, R-Melrose, made his announcement on Thursday, May 29, at a Hess gas station on Hoosick Street in Troy. A banker and former airline pilot, he told reporters that he is running to ease the financial burden on the middle class caused by soaring gas prices and ever-rising property taxes.
Running for his first political office, McLaughlin said the state's Assembly is being unfairly controlled by downstate Democrats and that he is challenging Gordon, the Independence Party chair in Bethlehem, for stepping in line with Assembly Majority Leader Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, and other downstate Democrats.
Upstate is getting pounded by the downstate, McLaughlin said. "Let downstate pick up the tab a little bit."
Contending that upstaters have "at least one, and even two or three cars," because of being physically spread out, McLaughlin said that gas prices are causing a financial crisis in Capital District communities.
As a businessman, he said the state should be run like a business.
"There are industries that do not bother to come to New Yorkbecause of the regulations," McLaughlin said. "Since 2000, 1.2 million New Yorkers have left New York State. They didn't say I love New York, they said I left New York."
He questioned exactly what Gordon has done in the Assembly in the past year-and-a-half, and said that his strong work ethic and vocal opinions will help him as minority member of the Assembly.
"I think loud and clear, I can tell you there's two people who don't want to see me get elected, and that's Tim Gordon and Shelly Silver," McLaughlin said. "Because I can be the thorn in the side of Shelly Silverand I think break the iron grip on that Assembly. I think we do it one district at a time with good candidates and a positive message of hope and help."
McLaughlin and his wife of 17 years, Maggie, have an 11-year-old son, Sean, and a 12-year old son, Danny, who both attend Hoosick Valley schools. He was a commercial pilot in Albany and was also a corporate pilot for KeyBank, and has maintained "a perfect safety record" with over 12,000 hours of flight time.
The 108 District represents parts of Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, and Greene counties.