Prior to his vote in favor of the historic Marriage Equality Act in June 2011, few would've thought anyone other than Roy McDonald would be the Republican candidate in today's 43rd Senate District race. But as our Matt Hunter reports, his loss in a razor thin GOP primary leaves two other candidates vying for his seat.
HALFMOON, N.Y. -- More than a month after narrowly winning a Republican primary over incumbent Roy McDonald, Kathy Marchione has reason to be optimistic.
The longtime Saratoga County Clerk showed a 15-point lead over Democratic challenger Robin Andrews in last week's 43rd Senate District Siena College poll.
Marchione said, "We're excited about the outcome of the poll we heard this morning. We believe that our message is resonating with the people of the 43rd."
In that same Siena poll, McDonald -- who remains on the ballot on the Independence Party line despite choosing to not actively campaign after losing the GOP primary -- received 29 percent support; a full four points higher than Andrews.
"I'm actually really proud of how much we increased because six weeks ago nobody had heard my name, so we're making really great progress," Andrews said.
Despite what some would call an uphill climb, Claverack Town Supervisor Andrews remains confident. Not unlike her opponent, she's banking on her financial experience to get elected.
Andrews said, "The skills that I have as a budgeting and planning consultant where I like to do the number crunching, combined with my true love of public service seem to be what we need in government right now."
Marchione said, "When I left being a town supervisor, I had $1 million the bank, the same $1 million that was there when I started."
With a statewide unemployment rate near nine percent, jobs is the key issue in this race.
For Marchione, the solution starts with lower taxes and loosening regulations, while Andrews believes the key is focusing on the state's nanotech and agriculture industries.
Marchione said, "When you can start reducing taxes and get rid of regulations, and those will be my priorities, I think businesses will come back and businesses will start being able to expand."
Andrews said, "I think it makes our area very rich because of that diversity and because of the skills we have and the quality of life we can offer all around."
Despite appearing on the ballot, McDonald's chances of reclaiming his seat seem unlikely. That leaves two candidates who both believe they're ready for the job.