Steve McLaughlin is trying to return the 108th Assembly District back to the conservatives, and he has the backing of the seat's former longtime Assemblyman Pat Casale.
Making his first run in politics, McLaughlin said he is challenging first-term incumbent Assemblyman Tim Gordon, I-Bethlehem, in order to bring business back to New York, and to keep it here.
I'm not a politician, I'm a businessman, said McLaughlin. "I've never voted to raise your taxes, and I never will if I have the honor of serving as the next Assemblyman for the 108th District."
McLaughlin, C-Melrose, is a businessman and former airline pilot. He is an enrolled Conservative and will be on both the Conservative and Republican lines on Nov. 6.
He has criticized Gordon for voting in line with downstate Democrats such as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, and failing to reform a "dysfunctional Albany."
"My family is everything to me, and I know how difficult it is now for hard-working people who are struggling to fill up their gas tanks and pay their rising property tax bills," said McLaughlin. "As the squeeze tightens, middle class families are left to worry how they will make ends meet. This is a crisis for too many people."
McLaughlin was a commercial pilot in Albany and was also a corporate pilot for KeyBank and has maintained "a perfect safety record," with more than 12,000 hours of flight time. He lives with his wife, Maggie, and two sons in Melrose, where his children attend Hoosic Valley schools.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Empire State College and his master's degree from the University at Phoenix.
McLaughlin is an active volunteer as a baseball coach for the Hoosic Valley Athletic Association and as a Catholic Youth Organization's basketball coach.
"We need a change in Albany that will help ease this middle class squeeze by capping property taxes, cutting gasoline taxes, and making health care more affordable through tax deductions, reforms and credits," added McLaughlin. "As Assemblyman, I will work across party lines for common sense solutions to help regular folks and give them the peace of mind they need and deserve."
The 108th District covers parts of Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties.