Schenectady County

Breslin easily wins primary

Incumbent state Sen. Neil D. Breslin — who faced his first ever primary on Tuesday — easily defeated

Incumbent state Sen. Neil D. Breslin — who faced his first ever primary on Tuesday — easily defeated two Democratic challengers to win the party’s nomination for re-election to the 46th District Senate seat.

Breslin, 66, seeking a seventh two-year term in office, has no Republican opponent in the November election.

He handily defeated Democratic opponents Charlie Voelker, 44, of Delmar, and David Weiss, 52, of the small Albany County hamlet of Medusa.

Breslin had received 13,415 votes, compared to 2,435 for Weiss and 2, 435 for Voelker with 87 percent of the machines reporting, according to unofficial results from the Albany County Board of Elections.

Breslin said he ran for re-election because he is believes the Democrats will be in the majority in the state Senate. They are just two seat shy going into the election.

Breslin said he wants to return for another Senate term so he can play a role in universal health care in New York state and the future of education. He would mandate pre-K, full day kindergarten and small classes for the 150 high-needs school districts that would be paid for at the state level.

Breslin, counsel with the Albany firm of Hiscock & Barclay. said he also supports a “circuit breaker” to limit property taxes.

Breslin is ranking minority member of the Insurance Committee and has served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators for years.

He sponsored the Harriman package, which would have provided millions of dollars in aid to the city of Albany. Gov. David Paterson vetoed the bill.

Voelker, who was making his first run at public office, is associate athletic director at the University at Albany. He said the state should be run like a business and criticized Breslin as part of the “tax-and-spend regime.”

He said a full-time senator was needed and said the economy was the main issue.

Weiss, 52, sells radiant heat and is president of New York Farmers Windpower LLC, a wind development business.

During the campaign he said the biggest issues facing the electorate are property taxes, health care and energy.

He wanted to pass community-based energy development legislation to help establish locally owned energy companies that would help produce jobs for local people, and create lower electricity costs for schools, hospitals and manufacturers and municipalities.

Weiss said he supports single-payer universal health care without the insurance company and he supports the circuit breaker for property tax relief.

The 46th Senate district includes all of Albany County.

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