Republican stalwarts take on new faces

Democrat challengers say change needed in Senate and Assembly

— Two Democrats new to state politics are challenging Republican incumbents in the newly redrawn 49th Senate District and 112th Assembly District, and at a recent debate they both told voters it is time for a change.

Senator Hugh Farley and Assemblyman James Tedisco are hardly new names, with Farley’s grip on his seat closing in on four decades. Democrat Michele Draves, who unsuccessfully ran for Glenville Town Clerk last year, is taking on Tedisco. Fellow Democrat Madelyn Thorne, director of Pastoral Care at Glendale Nursing Home, has her sights set on Farley.

All four hopefuls met at a League of Women Voters of Saratoga County candidate forum on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Clifton Park Hilton Garden Inn.

The atmosphere at the Capitol has undergone a positive change, said Farley, who forecasted better times ahead.

“I am excited about how New York State seems to be trying to get its act together,” he said.

Thorne, however, took that assessment in another light and accused Farley of being part of the state Legislature’s ineffectiveness in recent years.

“My opponent has told you about the improvements made during the last sessions, but those improvements were caused by one change: Governor Cuomo,” Thorne said.

She said for the vast majority of Farley’s years on the Senate he has been part of the dysfunction, not a force against it, and said “needed change” cannot occur if the same representatives are being elected over and over.

Farley said he is proud of his Senate career and that he has accomplished “quite a bit,” being able to pass all legislation he introduced this year. He also pointed to bills he’s spearheaded for the environment, aging, banking and libraries.

“I try to make a difference and I think I can do a lot for my district,” he said. “I plan to work hard at it.”

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