LATHAM Joseph Comella never had any desire to run for the Albany County Legislature, but after he read the book “If Not Now, When? If not me, Who?,” a book about a man who was awarded congressional honor, he decided it was time for him to effect some change.
“We need to effect some change,” Comella, a resident of Colonie, said. “I decided to take it upon myself and be more active and effect change.”
Comella, a Republican, is vying for a seat that is currently being vacated by Democrat Ryan Horstmyer in the 25th Legislative District and is running against Democrat Joe O’Brien. He doesn’t see it as having a single opponent, though, but sees the entire county legislature as his opponent.
It is upsetting to see the lack of legislators that are running unopposed, Comella said, as 26 of the 39 are currently uncontested. This is something that Comella said makes him a bit disgusted.
“I think what we have down there is a bunch of people who have a club to themselves,” he said. “These people don’t have to do what I’m doing, which is going door to door and making phone calls to raise money to win. Are we getting out of people what they deserve?”
He understands that it is not all just democrats in the legislature, as there are some republicans, but he feels there is not enough debate or another side to the arguments. The republicans generally do not have enough time to research most resolutions, he said, as many don’t see until the day of or even the night of the note.
“In order to have a democracy, we need opposition,” he said. “There needs to be debate.”
He said the legislature is ineffective and isn’t working to its full potential. There isn’t enough being done to crack down on Medicaid and Medicare providers in fraud cases, he said. Also, he believes Albany County Comptroller Mike Conners should have subpoena powers to go after those committing fraud.