Schenectady County

McGarry challenges Santabarbara for Assembly seat

County legislator will challenge Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara
Brian McGarry
Brian McGarry

111th ASSEMBLY DISTRICT — Schenectady County Legislator Brian McGarry announced plans on Friday to challenge Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara for the 111th Assembly District seat on a platform that opposes corruption and generally favors small government.

“At a certain point, government is like a wet blanket, so you can’t move,” McGarry said during an announcement in the front yard of his Rotterdam home. “I believe in the free market.”

McGarry, a Republican, is taking on Santabarbara, a Rotterdam Democrat who is seeking his fourth two-year term in the Assembly in the fall election.

McGarry is one of just two Republicans on the 15-member County Legislature. He was first elected in 2013 and has been re-elected twice since. He has been endorsed by the local Republican committees in Montgomery, Schenectady and Albany counties. All of those counties have communities in the 111th District.

McGarry, 61, is a retired sixth-grade Duanesburg teacher and previously owned an event photography business that is now run by his daughter. He is married, and a father of six grown children.

He describes himself as the son of a World War II  B-17 pilot and a stay-at-home mom, with four brothers and sisters, whose parents instilled “core values centered around family, religion, hard work, the importance of education and how public service can have a positive impact on your community.

 “It is no secret that Albany is in desperate need of reform,” McGarry said.

He said priority issues would include protections from domestic violence at home and sexual abuse in the workplace, reducing taxes, combating the growing heroin epidemic, ensuring upstate schools receive adequate funding and stopping the corruption and outright theft he sees in state government.

He also opposes minimum wage increases, saying they raise the cost of doing business, which could lead to businesses laying off workers or automating their operations.

“With your help and support, I know we can restore the public’s trust in our government and accomplish a great deal for the future of our state,” he told supporters.

Santabarbara, in a prepared statement, noted that he is the only civil engineer in the Legislature and that he believes in fighting for local infrastructure funding for communities in the district. As the father of a child with autism, he said he also emphasizes protecting the rights of the disabled.

“My only focus continues to be the work I’m doing each and every day for the communities I represent here in our area of upstate New York,” Santabarbara said. “I proudly served our country in the U.S. Army Reserve, and I know what it means to be committed to serving a mission.”

Montgomery County Legislator Roy Dimond, of Canajoharie, was planning to challenge Santabarbara for the Democratic nomination but said on Friday that he has suspended his campaign. He said he is still waiting to see if the Working Families Party will endorse him, but if not, he will end his campaign to work on behalf of other Democrats.

The 111th Assembly District encompasses all of Montgomery County and parts of Schenectady and Albany counties. According to the most recent figures from the state Board of Elections, it has 29,136 registered Democrats, 20,933 Republicans and 18,992 voters who are not enrolled in any political party.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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