Republican stalwarts take on new faces

Democrat challengers say change needed in Senate and Assembly

— Thorne supports increasing the minimum wage to “around $8.50.” Farley said the issue of increasing the minimum wage is likely to be addressed in an upcoming special session of the Legislature, with an increase likely to be approved.

Farley and Thorne both expressed the need for campaign finance reform. Farley even suggested exploring publicly financing state elections, but not local ones, but Thorne didn’t see the need to publicly fund campaigns.

Both spoke against the involvement of Super PACs in this year’s elections.

“I am sick of all these commercials that are on the television at the moment,” Farley said.

On the Assembly side, Draves also made the case for shucking past representation. She said she would implement the millionaire’s tax to reduce the deficit and stimulate education funding to reduce school taxes. She also said she would be a strong advocate for women’s issues.

“Our state is at a crossroads, we must choose a path forward,” Draves said. “In the last few years, 30,000 educators and other positions involved teaching our children have been axed, but Albany choose a tax cut for millionaires.”

Not unlike Farley, Tedisco said things are improving in Albany and the Legislature is headed in a good direction with bipartisan efforts.

“We have the lowest middle class tax rate for 4 million middle class taxpayers in 58 years,” Tedisco said. “We passed two on time budgets, we eliminated large deficits and we did it by spending less and reducing the size of government.”

All the candidates were asked about marriage equality, a topic that became a hot button issue in the nearby 43rd Senate District, where Saratoga County Clerk Kathleen Marchione’s narrow primary victory over incumbent Roy McDonald was largely attributed to the latter’s key vote in support of same-sex marriage.

At the debate, the candidates split down party lines, with Farley and Tedisco saying they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, while Democrats Thorne and Draves both expressed support for marriage equality.

“I don’t think that my neighbor should be told that they cannot get married to the person that they love,” Draves said. “I was allowed to marry the man that I love, so why should that be any different?”

The redrawn 49th Senate District covers, in part, Milton, Ballston, Clifton Park, Malta, Niskayuna, Glenville and parts of the City of Schenectady. The redrawn 112th Assembly District covers, in part, Milton, Ballston, Clifton Park, Charlton and Halfmoon. The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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