109th Assembly, 43rd Senate candidates debate

"[The circuit breaker] changes the way we fund education from property-based funding to income based funding," said Reilly. "I find it disingenuous for people to support the cap and say 'It's not going to affect education.'"

The 109th Assembly District encompasses Colonie, Clifton Park and Halfmoon. The latest statistics from the state Board of Elections show more than 9,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, with more than 5,500 independent and third-party registered voters. Total district enrollment stood at 95,000.

43rd Senate

The 43rd Senate seat was previously held by longtime majority leader Republican Joseph Bruno, who surprised many with his retirement announcement in June. After a heated Democratic primary and a more subdued race on the Republican side, Mike Russo and Roy McDonald have emerged as their parties' choices, respectively. McDonald will also appear on the Conservative and Independence Party lines.

McDonald currently serves in the State Assembly as the 112th District's representative who also held the supervisor's seat in the Town of Wilton. A veteran of the Vietnam and Cambodian conflicts, he railed hard and often against what he sees as an unequal division of resources and taxes between upstate and New York City, calling tax distribution in the state "geographical discrimination."

"Our biggest problem is we're next to the most important city in the world, and they forgot us," he said. "There is a dichotomy. We have been robbed of our past and our future with our relationship with the Big Apple."

Russo is taking his first stab at an elected governmental office, though he has held high-ranking union positions in the past. He worked as a top staffer for Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Greenport, until recently. He said that a change in the Capitol is needed.

"State government is broken, and it's not really helping us here," he said. In a changing world, Russo argued he has the qualifications to deal with the big picture. "It's very important for us to consider in this choice which one of your two candidates is better positioned to have a voice in the changing state government."

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