Retired Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, who surprised many with his announcement in June that he was stepping down, previously held the 43rd State Senate seat. If the longtime politician were running again, the race would likely be an open and shut affair, but voters must now choose a successor.
The 43rd District encompasses Rensselaer County and much of Saratoga County, including Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Saratoga Springs, Malta and Milton. Registered Republican voters outnumber Democrats roughly 77,000 to 59,000, with about 20,000 unaffiliated or third party registered voters at last count.
Roy McDonald is what some would call the hand-picked successor to Bruno, and the Republican nominee did take the outgoing Senator's endorsement early on. He will also be appearing on the Independence and Conservative Party lines.
A father of three, he currently resides in the Town of Saratoga. McDonald has a long record of holding elected office, serving as the Town of Wilton Supervisor before being elected to the Assembly in 2002. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Reducing the tax burden on New Yorkers ranks high on McDonald's priority list. His campaign often points to the fact the Town of Wilton has been without a town tax for two decades, and that under his purview the local economy grew and the number of jobs increased.
He does not present a specific plan for reducing property taxes, however.
In a debate earlier in October, McDonald made much of the upstate/downstate funding disparity, saying, "We have been robbed of our past and our future by the Big Apple." He insinuated that removing wasteful spending in the city would mean fewer taxes for the rest of New York.
McDonald places special needs education and advancement of autism treatment and research higher on his agenda than most. Two of his grandsons have been diagnosed with autism, and he has worked from his Assembly seat to secure funding for programs and research in the area.