Gazette Endorsement: Woerner’s experience, citizen service win out

Assemblyman's knowledge, constituent service beat out inexperience and potential
Carrie Woerner joins in a protest march outside of the Performance Materials chemical plant in Waterford, February 4, 2017.
Carrie Woerner joins in a protest march outside of the Performance Materials chemical plant in Waterford, February 4, 2017.

The race for the 113th Assembly District pits a non-nonsense public servant who possesses a deep understanding of her constituents’ needs, along with the skills and dedication to see legislation through, vs. a bright young challenger who has a firm grasp of the issues and the passion of her convictions.

But if voters are looking for the candidate who will be most effective in meeting the needs of this largely rural district, they should choose experience over potential and return Carrie Woerner to the state Assembly.

Woerner — a former software company executive and Round Lake village trustee seeking her third term in the Legislature — is impressive in her willingness to meet often with her constituents in public forums and personal meetings, her grasp of complex issues, and her ability to turn her constituents’ needs into legislation. 

In her relatively brief tenure, she has helped secure millions in state grants for the district, including money for veterans organizations, playgrounds and agriculture education programs.

Among her priorities for the coming term is improving the business climate in New York by addressing the small but important issues that contribute to the challenges faced by companies, such as being able to find and hire qualified employees.

She’s pushing to expand access to healthcare in rural communities, particularly women’s services, through incentives for medical professionals to practice in rural areas and by expanding the scope of services for nurse practitioners and midwives.

And she’s seeking to help farmers, while reducing the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, by seeking financial support for energy-saving anaerobic digesters that convert farm waste (manure) into gas or electricity.

Woerner’s opponent, 20-year-old conservative Morgan Zegers, is an articulate, well-informed recent college graduate.

She has made government accountability, ending corruption, reducing the mass migration of the population out of the state and repealing the SAFE Act gun some of her top priorities. 

On those concerns, she’s fairly aligned with Woerner’s positions. In an unusual stance for a Democrat, Woerner, too, supports repealing the SAFE Act, and in fact has introduced a bill to do just that.

Woerner said the SAFE Act has made law-abiding gun owners into criminals and speaks to a larger issue of government seeking to erode personal property rights.

We were impressed with Ms. Zegers’ professionalism, particularly in someone so young, and her grasp of the issues, particularly for someone so inexperienced.

But when they already have a professional, experienced, hard-working legislator like Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner in their corner, it would be unwise for voters to exchange that for potential.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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