COLONIE Five primary candidates tried to rise to the top of voters’ preference in a loaded Democrat field to fill an incumbent-free Assembly seat.
The Albany County League of Women Voters and Spotlight Newspapers on Wednesday, Sept. 5, hosted a combined primary candidates forum for the Democrat and Independence parties the 110th Assembly District. There are four Democrats vying for their party’s support, which included Joe Landry, Kevin Frazier, Timothy Nichols and Phillip Steck. Three of those candidates are also seeking the Independence Party ballot line, which are Landry, Frazier and Steck, and Republican Jennifer Whalen is also seeking the party’s support.
Whalen held the most contrast from fellow hopefuls and early in the debate touted her previous attempt for the seat.
“I ran two years ago and came very close to unseating Bob Reilly,” Whalen said.
Reilly, D-Loudonville, announced earlier this year he would not seek reelection, representing the 109th Assembly District before redistricting, leading four democrats to seeking the open seat. Whalen has already secured the Republican Party ballot line.
Fracking comes into focus
Hydraulic fracturing came into focus early in the forum, and all of the Democrat candidates expressed their opposition it.
Frazier said when he was growing up the Hudson River was a “punch line to a real bad joke” and not being cautious towards possible environmental impacts has previously shown negative results.
“The industry refuses to reveal what is in the fracking fluid,” Frazier said, “How can the waste water treatment facilities treat it?”
Landry said there are “too many unknowns” surrounding the method used to extract natural gas and oil. Also, he said there has not been a “good evaluation” on what is happening to groundwater during the process.
Landry, town supervisor of Niskayuna, touted he introduced a local law at the Town Board’s last meeting proposing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.