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Voters to decide who fills Bruno's Senate seat

McDonald has presented a plan for restoring economic prosperity to rural areas of the state that would chiefly involve cutting taxes, including a 50 percent cut on the state gas tax, and extending benefits, including boosts in the STAR program, for those in rural zones.

Mike Russo

Mike Russo, like many vying for the Democratic nomination in the 43rd, snuck into the primary at the last moment due to Bruno's late-breaking announcement. He left his senior post at Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand's, D-Greenport, office to take a stab at holding office himself. Prior to that, he was an elected union representative.

He resides in Saratoga with his wife, two sons and mother.

Much of Russo's campaigning has revolved around the need for an outsider at the Capitol to stimulate change and end what he called a "three men in a room" system of government.

"State government is broken," he said in a debate earlier in October. "It's not really helping us here."

He supports a circuit breaker approach to property tax relief, saying that a tax cap would put undue restrictions on schools. Russo has brought up the possibility of reworking the way schools are funded altogether, saying that using income or sales tax should be considered.

In addition, Russo suggests that wasteful government spending must be combated through widespread audits and the elimination of "political appointees" who offer little value at the Capitol.

Job growth is also on his agenda, and Russo argues that the area must set its sights on careers in alternative energy, saying that the area's schools should make that task easier.

Home heating is a hot topic for Russo, just as it is for his former boss, Gillibrand. He says he helped draft the Home Energy Assistance Program while on her staff, and that it can be used as a tool to decide who should receive emergency heating assistance this winter.

Christopher Consuello

Running on the Working Families Party line is Christopher Consuello, who is employed by the Troy Department of Works. He did not attend any candidate debates, has done no campaigning, is effectively unreachable by phone and is thought by many to be a GOP operative. The Capital District chapter of the Working Families Party is endorsing Russo.""

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