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City Council member eyes Assembly bid

City Council member eyes Assembly bid

Mark Blanchfield, a ranking member and former president of the Schenectady City Council, is consider

Mark Blanchfield, a ranking member and former president of the Schenectady City Council, is considering a run against the incumbent assemblyman of the 105th District.

Blanchfield, 41, received support from the city’s Democratic Committee Saturday for this bid and is expected to receive similar endorsements from the Democratic committees of both Schenectady and Montgomery counties.

The 105th Assembly District comprises all of Montgomery County and most of Schenectady County.

Republican incumbent George Amedore Jr. plans to seek re-election this November. He captured the seat, which had been held by a Democrat for 24 years, in a special election last year, defeating Democrat Edward Kosiur by more than 2,500 votes.

Blanchfield said he is seeking support from organizations and individuals “As I make my way through this decision.” No other candidate has sought the support of the Schenectady city and county committees, their chairmen said Monday.

“I know of no one else interested. I may be the person,” Blanchfield said. “It is an exciting prospective. If people continue to support me, it may become more and more of a reality.”

Blanchfield is an attorney with the Albany firm of Hiscock & Barclay. He was elected to the City Council in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. He served for three years as council president and is currently chairman of the council’s finance committee.

If elected to the Assembly, Blanchfield would leave the City Council with one year remaining in his four-year term. The council would appoint his successor.

“I have been serving the people of Schenectady for seven years; it has been very satisfying,” Blanchfield said. “The extent that this other position presents another opportunity to [serve] the public could be very fulfilling and I am certain if I decide to do it I can bring a lot of skills and hard work to the position.”

Blanchfield was not ready to expand on his platform Monday, but said, “I am concerned about the way in which government has been financed. It has been my concern since I have been on City Council.”

He said he wants “to make sure government is well-managed and that the source of revenue is progressive, not regressive.”

He and his wife, Beatrice, have two children.

Brian Quail, chairman of the Schenectady County Democratic Committee, said Blanchfield will make a “fantastic candidate. He has a strong history as a leader and is someone who participated in taking a city on the brink of collapse and turning it around.”

Blanchfield is “someone who gets results and makes life better for people,” Quail said. He said Amedore is vulnerable to defeat in the heavily Democratic district.

“What has he accomplished?” Quail asked. “All I see is more of the same. He hasn’t passed a single bill and he fell right in line with the Albany culture of lulus and do-nothing legislation.”

Schenectady County Republican Committee Chairman Tom Buchanan said Democrats will find a formidable foe in Amedore. “He is very popular. He won an overwhelming victory, and there is not any reason voters would consider dumping George after one year in office. He is just starting to roll up his sleeves and get to work.”

Buchanan said he was surprised Democrats would support Blanchfield. “He is a member of the Democrat team that is part of making Schenectady one of the highest, if not the highest, taxed communities in the Capital Region,” he said. “It is surprising they would not try to appeal to a high-taxed-conscious public.”

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