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Two Democrats to try to unseat state Sen. Farley

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Albany/HV: Two Democrats to try to unseat state Sen. Farley
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BALLSTON, N.Y. -- New York's longest serving state senator has not one, but two Democrats vying to unseat him in November.

Madelyn Thorne unsuccessfully tried to unseat longtime Republican state Sen. Hugh Farley in the 49th District just 15 months ago, but fell short by 23, 446 votes. Despite the sizable gap, the Schenectady Democrat will try once again this November.

"Daunting doesn't mean people shouldn't take on challenges. We had a fine showing and it showed me clearly the people of the 49th District are ready for a change," said Thorne, a Democrat.

Thorne has already secured endorsements from the Schenectady and Saratoga County Democratic committees, yet, she faces competition from within her own party.

On Saturday, former Ballston Town Supervisor Patti Southworth threw her hat into the ring, setting up a primary battle.

"The public is what made me seek out the seat. I received a lot of phone calls from individuals asking me to run for office," Southworth said.

"I frankly was a little surprised she came out as a Democrat, I had understood her to be within the Independence Party," Thorne said.

"I had been a Democrat the majority of my life, so all I really did was go back to my roots," Southworth said.

Southworth worked as a pharmacist before her six-year stint at Ballston Town Hall.

Thorne spent years in the private sector before heading up pastoral care at Schenectady County's nursing home.

Each hopes a platform of change will get them elected.

"I think property taxes are crushing us, we need serious tax reform, we also need strong campaign finance reform," Thorne said.

"Obviously jobs and the economy but we also need to take a look at Common Core and our education system," Southworth said.

Farley, who's been elected to the seat 19 times and is currently the longest serving member of the New York state Senate, was out of town Monday, but speaking over the phone said he's "excited about running again."

Geographically, the 49th Senate District is the state's second largest and one of the more culturally and politically diverse.

Each candidate is already working to secure votes ahead of the June primary.

"I look forward to the public giving me a chance and listening to what I have to say," Southworth said.

"I have every confidence that in November I'm going to have the strongest result," Thorne said.

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