46th Senate District: Tight race for the newly drawn 46th
It was carved out by Republicans during the redistricting process, but the newly drawn 46th Senate District is at the center of a hard-fought battle between GOP Assemblyman George Amedore and Democrat Cecilia Tkazyck. Our Lori Chung takes a closer look at the race many say is up for grabs.
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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. -- In the final push to Election Day, the focus for both candidates in the race for the 46th senate district is clear.
"How many voters I can reach," said George Amedore.
"I think my message has been getting through so I'm very excited," said Cecilia Tkaczyk.
There is no incumbent in the newly drawn district that was carved out by the GOP. Republican George Amedore has been representing the 105th Assembly since 2007, which he says shares the same issues with the new 46th.
"Our property taxes in Upstate New York are are way too high, [and] the lack of jobs," said Amedore.
The 46th also contains some of the same geographic area but cuts through a total of five counties in the Mohawk and Hudson Valleys, nearly 140 miles long. Like her opponent, Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk names the economy as a top priority in the district.
"People are worried about jobs,” said Tkaczyk. “They want to see the upstate economy grow."
But each candidate takes a different approach.
Amedore said, "Reducing job killing taxes and reducing over-regulation. It's a strangle-hold on small businesses. We need to continue to invest in education and having more vocational educational experiences for our schools."
"I want to see things like local revolving loan funds to help businesses expand and have access to capital," said Tkaczyk. "We need to make sure we're lowering property taxes, [and] we can't do that if we're not getting our fair share of state aid for our schools."
Tkaczyk, a farmer, former Senate aide and school board member in Duanesburg, says rural and small city schools have gotten the short end of the stick in education aid, an issue she says inspired her to run. Amedore says as co-owner of a family-run home building company, he has the insight to relate to business owners in the district. But, campaign finance reform has become heated issue in the race.
"It's unfortunate that there is a lot of money being poured in from outside interests, from New York City and other parts of the state on my opponent's side," said Amedore.
"Mr. Amedore has been funded directly by billionaires in New York City so I find it amusing that he's worried about outside money all of a sudden," said Tkaczyk.
The influx of outside money has led to a lot of negative campaign ads on both the television and on the radio. A recent Siena Poll showed this as a true toss up race with Republican George Amedore holding onto a narrow lead within the margin of error.