Incumbent Republican Assemblyman George Amedore Jr. thanked dozens of supporters Tuesday as voting results that began with a small margin turned into a huge victory.
“The people of the 105th Assembly District, they deserve their voices to be heard — not special interests but their interests, their voice,” Amedore said.
A father of three from Rotterdam, Amedore, 39, is vice president of an upscale home building business. He won office in a special election held in July 2007 following the departure of longtime Democratic assemblyman Paul Tonko.
Unofficial results showed Amedore with 64 percent of votes on Tuesday, compared with 36 percent for his opponent, Democratic candidate Mark Blanchfield, giving Amedore a full term in the Assembly.
Blanchfield, 41, a city of Schenectady councilman for seven years, works as an attorney in Albany and lives in Schenectady with his wife and two children.
Blanchfield late Tuesday said the campaign was a learning experience and said he believed he was facing an uphill battle against an incumbent.
“It’s always a challenge to run against an incumbent. In New York state, no matter how long people have been in office, the return rate is in the high 90s [percent]. That’s something I was prepared for going into this race. Nevertheless, I thought there were some issues that had to be brought out,” Blanchfield said.
Blanchfield said a race for state office was a different experience than what he’d experienced in the past, but said it gave him a chance to get closer to Montgomery County, where he campaigned with his father and cousins.
Amedore, who gathered with state and local Republicans at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, thanked his family for supporting him and praised Sen. Hugh Farley, Assemblyman James Tedisco and other political officials for their support.
The 105th Assembly District includes all of Montgomery County and part of Schenectady County, including the towns of Princetown, Rotterdam and Duanesburg and a portion of the city of Schenectady.
During the campaign, Amedore said he planned to support capping the growth of school taxes to 4 percent or the rate of inflation. He said he intended to support investment in alternative fuels to help reduce energy costs. Amedore also supports opening New York to competition from out-of-state health care companies in an effort to reduce medical costs.
Amedore said he planned to reduce governmental costs through consolidation and cutting waste. He received endorsements of several groups, including the New York State Right to Life Committee, the National Rifle Association and the Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association. Amedore’s committee membership in the Assembly includes committees on agriculture, cities, codes, economic development and oversight.
Blanchfield in his campaign said he’d bring legislative experience to Albany and work to attract more state aid to Schenectady and Amsterdam.
Blanchfield said he would devise incentives for the agriculture industry and boost highway aid for towns in the district.
Blanchfield garnered the endorsement of several unions and organizations, including the New York State United Teachers, CSEA and the Greater Capital Region Building and Construction Council.
Amedore on Tuesday thanked those who supported his campaign.
“You have invested in not just me but you invested in the 105th Assembly District, you invested in a change, you invested in bringing about the hopes and dreams that so many people sometimes they forgot about. I’m here tonight to tell you we didn’t forget,” Amedore said.