Election 2022: Newcomers, seasoned veterans eye state Assembly seats

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ELECTION 2022 – Capital Region voters will cast ballots in a handful of contested races for the state Assembly on Election Day, while voters in two outlying districts will see uncontested races for the state Legislature’s lower house.

In the contested races, incumbents face active campaigns from a mix of newcomers and repeat candidates.

Here’s what to know about the Assembly races on Tuesday’s ballots:

102nd Assembly District

Chris Tague, Republican, vs. Nick Chase, Democrat

The district includes all of Greene County and Schoharie County, as well as parts of Otsego County, Delaware County and Albany County.

Voter enrollment: 29,719 Democrats, 35,691 Republicans, 2,658 Conservatives, 472 Working Families Party members, 5,727, party members affiliated with another third party and 25,699 independent voters.

TAGUE

› As the incumbent, Tague’s district currently consists of Greene and Schoharie counties, along with parts of Delaware, Columbia, Albany, Otsego and Ulster counties.

› Tague previously worked as Schoharie’s town supervisor between 2016 and 2018. Tague won a special election that spring to fill the slot of Pete Lopez, who resigned to become an EPA regional administrator.

› The Republican lawmaker was elected to his first full term just a month after the tragic Schoharie limousine crash. Earlier this fall, he vied to launch a joint hearing to subpoena state officials connected to allegedly dodging accountability for the deadly incident.

› Tague seeks to expand broadband access, provide support for people with disabilities, deregulate agriculture and lower taxes.

Election 2022: The time has come for voters to have their say – All up to you

CHASE

› Chase is a substitute teacher in the Schenevus Central School District in Otsego County.

› He ran an unsuccessful bid for the 121st Assembly seat back in 2019. As the Democratic challenger, he bowed out before the primary.

› Chase has previously described himself as a moderate Democrat.

› He supports reproductive rights, increased tax breaks for farmers, greater funding and higher pay for teachers, universal background checks for gun purchases and single-payer health care.

110th Assembly District

Alexandra Vellela, Republican, vs. Phil Steck, Democrat

The district includes Niskayuna, part of Guilderland and Colonie, as well as a bit of Schenectady.

Voter enrollment: 39,397 Democrats, 23,217 Republicans, 1,862 Conservatives, 395 Working Families Party members, 4,322 party members affiliated with another third party and 27,870 independent voters.

VELELLA

› Velella is a worker’s compensation attorney. She ran for Colonie Town Board and lost by 87 votes in 2021.

› At 34, Velella is Steck’s youngest challenger in the past 10 years.

› The Republican challenger believes in state term limits, imposing voter identification, repealing bail reform, enacting school choice and ending vaccine mandates on college campuses.

› Velella said voters in the largely suburban district are worried about crime.

STECK

› A Colonie Democrat and the current incumbent in this Assembly seat, Steck previously served three terms in the Albany County Legislature and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2008. He was first elected to the Assembly in 2012.

› He’s one of the Capital Region’s progressive Democrats in the Capitol chamber, alongside Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany. He endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential primary.

› Steck defeated Dave Feiden last election with 62.6% of the vote.

› He champions reinstating the penny tax on stock trading, single-payer health care, protecting net neutrality and gun control.

Election 2022: The time has come for voters to have their say – All up to you

111th Assembly District

Angelo Santabarbara, Democrat, vs. Joseph Mastroianni, Republican

The district includes part of eastern Montgomery County and much of Schenectady County.

Voter enrollment: 32,258 Democrats, 18,885 Republicans, 2,772 Conservatives, 714 Working Families Party members, 3,798 party members affiliated with another third party and 22,431 independent voters.

SANTABARBARA

› A Democrat and the incumbent in this seat, Santabarbara is a first-generation Italian-American who went to the University at Albany to become a civil engineer.

› A moderate Democrat, Santabarbara has often broken ranks with party leaders. He flipped from Republican to Democrat in the Schenectady County Legislature in 2010.

› Santabarbara is a vocal opponent of bail reform. He introduced legislation with state Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, aimed at repealing and replacing the existing law.

› Having an autistic son, Santabarbara is one of the Assembly’s leading advocates for autism awareness and support services. He’s also introduced legislation aimed at alleviating heating costs this winter.

MASTROIANNI

› Mastroianni was elected to the Rotterdam Town Board in 2021, breaking Democratic rule on the panel. He believes the two-party system has become polarizing.

› He defeated Michael Arbige in a Republican primary with 54.4% of the vote.

› Mastroianni believes there’s a need to decarbonize but wants the state to consider investing in nuclear power and lifting the ban on fracking in the Southern Tier.

› He wants to repeal the SAFE Act.

Election 2022: The time has come for voters to have their say – All up to you

112th Assembly District

Mary Beth Walsh, Republican, vs. Andrew McAdoo, Democrat

The district includes much of western Saratoga County and two municipalities in Schenectady County and Broadalbin, respectively.

Voter enrollment: 30,231 Democrats, 36,914 Republicans, 2,145 Conservatives, 339 Working Families Party members, 4,972 party members affiliated with another third party and 29,168 independent voters.

WALSH

› A Ballston resident, Walsh defeated 2020 Democratic opponent Joe Seeman with 57% of the vote.

› Walsh is one of only three women in the GOP’s state Senate minority conference.

› She has supported a constitutional amendment restricting non-citizens from voting, a backlash to New York City granting green-card holders a right to vote.

› Walsh carries a conservative voting record on abortion, adult-use cannabis and firearms. She believes one-party rule in Albany has been disastrous.

MCADOO

› McAdoo, a longtime farmer, launched telecommunications company Broadband Solutions, LLC in 2021. The one-time Potsdam resident served on the North Country Housing Council for 15 years.

› The Democratic challenger currently lives in Clifton Park.

› He believes the housing crisis can be alleviated with stronger community planning.

› In response to his opponent during a WAMC debate late last month assailing bail reform, McAdoo said the twice-amended controversial 2019 law isn’t having much of an impact on Southern Saratoga County.

Election 2022: The time has come for voters to have their say – All up to you

113th Assembly District

Carrie Woerner, Democrat, vs. David Catalfamo, Republican

The district includes two municipalities in Washington County, Glens Falls in Warren County, and eastern Saratoga County.

Voter enrollment: 32,151 Democrats, 34,347 Republicans, 1,615 Conservatives, 373 Working Families Party members, 5,337 party members affiliated with another third party and 26,521 independent voters.

WOERNER

› A Road Lake resident, Woerner faces one of the most Republican constituencies for a Democratic incumbent in the Capital Region. Skidmore College political scientist Bob Turner recently told the Daily Gazette that Woerner’s staying power rivals conservative Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin D-W.Va.

› The assemblywoman is a software entrepreneur and a former member of the village of Round Lake Board of Trustees.

› She chairs the lower chamber’s Subcommittee on Agricultural Production & Technology.

› Woerner has called legislation aimed at raising the age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon too restrictive to hunters. She supports amending the bill.

CATALFAMO

› Catalfamo lost to Woerner in 2020 by a margin of 40,173 to 32,726.

› The Republican told the Times Union in September that he believes Woerner’s razor-thin-margin district was crafted to put her at an advantage.

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› He’s a member of the Wilton Planning Board and a public relations firm. Under the Pataki administration, he was appointed senior vice president of the Empire State Development Corporation.

› Catalfamo supports cutting spending and shifting state energy policies to buoy natural gas usage in the spring.

114th Assembly District

Matthew Simpson, Republican, uncontested

The district includes most of Essex County, Warren County, all of northern Washington County, much of the Sacandaga Lake area in Saratoga County and Northampton in Fulton County.

Voter enrollment: 22,800 Democrats, 43,327 Republicans, 1,603 Conservatives, 329 Working Families Party members, 5,209 party members affiliated with another third party and 21,997 independent voters.

› A town of Horicon resident, Simpson previously served as town supervisor and chairman of the Warren & Washington County Industrial Development Association.

› During the 2020 election Simpson had a 56.7 percentage-point lead over Democrat Claudia Braymer and Serve America Party candidate Evelyn Wood.

› The assemblyman recently sent a Freedom of Information Law request against recent legislation from Gov. Kathy Hochul that bans firearms in “sensitive” locations, including the Adirondack Park.

› He has also assailed the governor over the HALT act, a law aimed at reducing the number of days inmates spend in solitary confinement. He believes the legislation puts law enforcement and other incarcerated persons at risk.

Election 2022: The time has come for voters to have their say – All up to you

118th Assembly District

Robert Smullen, Republican, uncontested

District includes much of western Montgomery County, all of Herkimer County, a small portion of Oneida County and most of Fulton County.

Voter enrollment: 22,136 Democrats, 44,839 Republicans, 1,866 Conservatives, 364 Working Families Party members, 5,531 party members affiliated with another third party and 20,784 independent voters.

› In 2015, the Meco Republican and the incumbent in this Assembly seat retired from 24 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

› Smullen has listed some of his top priorities as lowering taxes, providing veterans support, protecting gun rights and deregulating government.

› The assemblyman is a plaintiff in a lawsuit intended to repeal absentee ballot reforms, and expedited voting measures passed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

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