League of Women Voters' event features pair of debates
By CHARLES WIFF
Voters were given a chance to come face-to-face with four candidates in the upcoming election on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 14, when the Saratoga County League of Women Voters hosted a debate between the frontrunners in races for the 109th Assembly and 43rd Senate districts at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park.
The non-partisan group gave each race one hour of time, most of which was spent fielding questions from the audience. Time was also allowed for opening and closing statements from the candidates.
The proceedings were taped and were promised to be available online at the league's Web site, www.lwvsaratoga.org.
Robert Reilly, the Democrat who was elected to his seat in 2004, pointed to his experience as both a small business owner and a longtime state bureaucrat. He immediately identified health care and education as the two areas he would most like to improve if he returns to the Assembly. Despite his time in the legislature, he said he views himself as a citizen legislator.
Wasielewski, a retired Air Force officer, said he is running as an "aggravated taxpayer" with a message of reform for the Capitol. He will appear on the Republican and Conservative Party lines on Nov. 4's ballot.
"We don't feel like our voice is being accurately heard by those in Albany," he said. "I decided to raise my hand."
The economy was in the forefront of the minds of many voters on Tuesday night, and the candidates were often questioned on how they would improve the situation for their constituency. Reilly noted that the economy in the 109th is stronger than in most other areas, saying that Saratoga County is on the cusp of becoming a "tech valley."