Election 2022: Republicans once again aiming to make gains in state Senate


ELECTION 2022 – Democrats hope to retain a supermajority in the New York State Senate on Election Day, while Republicans are aiming to win back some of the seats lost in recent elections. Democrats hold a 42-20 edge in the upper house of the state Legislature going into this year’s race for two-year terms.

Capital Region races include:

43rd District

Jake Ashby, Republican, vs. Andrea Smyth, Democrat

The district includes an urban slice of Albany County, all of Rensselaer County and most of Washington County.

Voter enrollment: 79,884 Democrats, 74,596 Republicans, 4,105 Conservatives, 1,110 Working Families Party members, 11,393 party members affiliated with another third party and 65,289 independent voters.


› Assemblyman Jake Ashby has served in the state Assembly since 2018. He previously was a Rensselaer County legislator.

› The Conservative and Republican-backed candidate served in the U.S. Army Reserves for eight years in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later worked as an occupational therapist.

› He seeks to repeal bail reform, provide greater funding for law enforcement, lower taxes and bolster workforce development training.

› Endorsements include the Police Benevolent Association of New York State, National Federation of Independent Business, state Sen. Daphne Jordan and Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello.


› The Democratic and Working Families Party-endorsed candidate previously served as President & CEO of the New York State Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health.

› She ran a close but unsuccessful Rensselaer County executive bid against Steve McLaughlin in 2018.

› Smyth wants to expand home heating assistance for seniors, extend the state’s gas tax holiday and prioritize reducing the cost of mental health care.

› Endorsements include the Civil Service Employees Association, New York State Union of Teachers, Planned Parenthood Acts and the New York League of Conservation Voters.

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

44th District

James Tedisco Republican, vs. Michelle Ostrelich, Democrat

The district includes Niskayuna and Saratoga County.

Voter enrollment: 77,510 Democrats, 55,141 Republicans, 6,580 Conservatives, 2,584 Working Families Party members, 12,110 party members affiliated with another third party and 63,374 independent voters.


› A longtime Glenville resident, Sen. Tedisco, who currently represents the 49th District, originally faced a Republican primary with Sen. Daphne Jordan, R-Halfmoon, before she bowed out to avoid an ugly primary battle.

› Up until 2017, he served in the lower-chamber Assembly for more than 30 years, and at one point ran an unsuccessful campaign to fill former U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand’s seat in the House of Representatives.

› Tedisco has been an animal rights advocate and vocal critic of bail reform.

› Endorsements include CSEA, NFIB, the League of Humane Voters of New York and the National Rifle Association.


› A Niskayuna resident, Ostrelich faced off against Tedisco in 2018 and lost by 20,268 votes. She believes the district’s redrawn map is friendlier for Democrats thanks to an enrollment advantage.

› The attorney serves as a Schenectady County legislator representing parts of Glenville, Scotia and Niskayuna. She has previously served as a member of the Niskayuna Zoning Board of Appeals and president of the Schenectady Jewish Community Center.

› The Niskayuna resident has placed voting access, reproductive health care, universal pre-K and gun control front and center.

› Endorsements include the Communication Workers of America, the National Institute for Reproductive Health and Voters for Animal Rights.

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

46th District

Neil Breslin, Democrat, vs. Rich Amedure, Republican

The district includes all of Montgomery County along with most of Schenectady and Albany counties.

Voter enrollment: 98,872 Democrats, 46,802 Republicans, 5,607 Conservatives, 1,128 Working Families Party members, 9,586 party members affiliated with another third party and 55,265 independent voters.


› Sen. Breslin, a lifelong Albany resident, was first elected to the state Senate in 1996, overtaking a one-term Republican.

› Breslin held a comfy 73-percentage-point lead over Republican David Yule in his last bid for re-election. Should Breslin win it will be his 14th term in the state Senate.

› The Albany Democrat has prioritized conservation efforts, easing voting access, tenant protections and police reform.

› Endorsements include Planned Parenthood Act, NYSUT, the New York State Federation of Democratic Women, Albany County Young Democrats and Local 338.


› Amedure previously vied for the 46th District against Michelle Hinchey in 2022. He lost in a close matchup, 50.5% to 48.6%.

› The Rensselaerville Republican served 31 years with the state police. He’s currently a member of the Rensselaerville Planning Board.

› Amedure believes downstate interests are hurting upstate New York. He believes bail reform has made communities less safe and that the state should lower taxes.

› He has been endorsed by Unshackle Upstate, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Unite NY and NFIB.

49th District

Mark Walczyk, R-Watertown, uncontested

The district includes all of Fulton County and much of the western North Country

Voter enrollment: 49,524 Democrats, 94,480 Republicans, 3,777 Conservatives, 763 Working Families Party members, 10,601 voters affiliated with another third party, 46,810 independent voters.

› Currently a member of the state Assembly, Walczyk is running unopposed on Republican and Conservative lines. He’s positioned to take Tedisco’s outgoing seat. He previously sat on the Watertown City Council.

› Walczyk has condemned the state Farm Wage Labor Board’s 40-hour workweek recommendation.

› Walczyk previously held the highest environmental rating of any member of his Assembly Republican conference from the League of Conservation Voters.

› Endorsements include CSEA, the North Atlantic State Regional Council of Carpenters, the New York State Troopers Benevolent Association and the NRA.

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

51st District

Peter Oberacker, Republican, vs. Eric Ball, Democrat

The district includes Schoharie County, Otsego County, Delaware County, Sullivan County, Broome County and parts of Ulster and Chenango counties.

Voter enrollment: 70,924 Democrats, 81,629 Republicans, 4,518 Conservatives, 1,074 Working Families Party members, 10,175 voters affiliated with another third party, 56,419 independent voters.


› Sen. Oberacker, a resident of Schenevus, grew up working alongside his family in a local meat market. In 2007 he created FormTech Solutions, and in 2015 began serving on the Otsego County Board of Representatives.

› During his first election for state Senate in 2020, Oberacker won with 55.4% of the vote against Democrat Jim Barber. Oberacker also competed in a primary this year against Terry Bernardo, taking 52.5% of the vote.

› Oberacker supports lifting regulations for small businesses, increasing broadband access, repealing the SAFE Act, supporting law enforcement and increasing food security through agriculture.

Endorsements include the NYS Public Employees Federation, Schenevus Fire and EMS Department, Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond and Unite NY.


› Ball is a former Civil Service Employees Union member from Delaware County and member of the village of Walton’s Board of Trustees.

› Ball supported New York’s 2019 push to codify abortion rights in the state constitution. The amendment requires a multiyear process of checks and balances, which is ultimately likely to go to the Legislature should Democrats maintain some stature in the state Senate.

› He also backs unrestricted absentee ballot voting and early voting, addressing climate change and easing farm-to-table trade.

› Endorsements include the Working Families Party, Delaware County Democratic Committee, Orange County Democratic Committee and Sullivan County Democratic Committee.

Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3047 or [email protected]

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

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

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