Candidates for the 43rd Senate district and candidates for family court judge met to debate at a candidate forum presented by the League of Women Voters and moderated by The Spotlight on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at the Malta Community Center.
Saratoga Springs Supervisor Joanne Yepsen (D-Saratoga Springs) and incumbent Roy McDonald (R-Wilton) fielded questions from the audience that focused on issues specific to the 43rd Senate district and New York State in general.
The first thing on constituents' minds was whether or not either candidate felt the campaign had become too negative. McDonald said he was proud of his career and the way he was running his campaign.
I already made that pledge [to run a clean and ethical campaign]. I only put out one campaign mailer; it very positive you won't see that from me; that negative, nasty, mean spirited tone, said McDonald. "Whether I win or lose, I'm not going to devalue this job or my family."
Yepsen said her goal this campaign has been to get information out to the voters.
"Races are competitive and I think this is probably one of the first McDonald has had, so this is an opportunity to educate voters. That's the goal, to get the facts out there and talk about voting records, what he supported, where he has been and he really needs to come up with more answers to make sure voters have all the information they need to make a good decision on Nov.2," said Yepsen.
Candidates were asked if they support the Farmworkers Bill of Rights and what they could do to strengthen the farming industry in New York State. Yepsen said she supports farmers, especially in upstate New York, and she did not support the bill.
"I support farmers, so I do not support the bill that will increase their costs. We can't allow them to go out of business. Instead, the state needs to do much more to protect farmland and advocate for the agricultural industry," said Yepsen.