In recent memory, the race for the 43rd state Senate seat was generally an open-and-closed affair, with deeply rooted 32-year Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, winning handily every time. With his recent departure, however, the door to his seat has been left propped open and a round of fresh faces is entering the race to claim it.
Four candidates two Democrats and two Republicans will be facing off Tuesday, Sept. 9, for the chance to represent their parties in the general election. They are Republicans Roy McDonald and Ray Seney, and Democrats Brian Premo and Mike Russo.
Christopher Consuello, who is employed by the Troy Department of Public Works, will be appearing on the Working Families line in a race against Premo, as well.
The 43rd covers much of Saratoga County, including Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Saratoga Springs, Malta and Milton. There are more registered Republicans than Democrats in the county, but not by leaps and bounds. Republicans number over 77,000, while there are nearly 59,000 Democrats.
In anticipation of the primary, Spotlight Newspapers circulated a questionnaire to the four candidates. It asked the candidates to put five issues " economy, health care, energy, the war on terror, campaign finance reform " in order of importance; rate the current Senate, identify Bruno's legacy and a point they disagree with him on; and critique the state's recent effort to cut spending. It also asked more open-ended questions about why they were running for office.
The following are the results of the questionnaire, edited for length, with some information on the candidates, who are listed in alphabetical order.
"I believe my experience in eliminating property taxes, creating jobs and spearheading important social programs for veterans and children with disabilities will serve constituents of the 43rd Senate District well," said McDonald.