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What you need to know for 08/16/2017

Amedore starts campaign to jump to state Senate

Amedore starts campaign to jump to state Senate

George Amedore Jr. may be taking a chance by running for the state Senate’s newly created 46th Distr

George Amedore Jr. may be taking a chance by running for the state Senate’s newly created 46th District, but it’s one he’s comfortable taking.

The Rotterdam Republican officially announced he’ll pass up a run for re-election to the Assembly for a chance to represent the five-county Senate district created through the redistricting process. Amedore, who was heavily rumored to be the GOP’s preferred candidate for the new seat, acknowledged that his Senate candidacy will mean he’ll need to abandon a run for the 105th Assembly District, an office he’s occupied since winning a special election in 2007.

“If [the redistricting] is challenged and it loses, then I guess my wife will see a lot more of me,” he said playfully Wednesday to a gathering of media and supporters outside the office of his company, Amedore Homes, in Guilderland.

Amedore launched his campaign by visiting Stavo Industries in the Ulster County city of Kingston, Ski Windham in Greene County and Parillo’s Armory Grill in the Montgomery County city of Amsterdam. At each stop, the home builder stumped for lower taxes, increased cooperation in the Legislature and a business climate that will help foster job creation across the sprawling district.

“Their issues are the same,” he said of the communities in the proposed 46th Senate District. “Small businesses are the ones that are struggling.”

Challenges to the new legislative boundaries continue to work through the federal court system, and the redistricting plan still needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. But if the redistricting stands, the new Senate district will include much of Amedore’s current Assembly District, where he’s won the last three elections, as well as mostly rural areas, where he’s shown strength.

During his campaign announcement in Guilderland, Amedore relayed the entrepreneurial story of his own father, who went from constructing wooden radiator boxes for two-family homes in Schenectady to founding what is now one of the Capital Region’s premiere home builders. He said his father started Amedore Homes as a dream and brought it to fruition with dogged determination — a model that he relates to now as a member of the Legislature.

“Through hard work we can get things done,” he said.

Amedore also praised the changing culture in Albany, saying years of dysfunction have started to give way to legislative change. He lauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s work with legislators to institute a 2 percent property tax cap and pledged to work for “true mandate relief” to help reduce the burden the state places on local municipalities.

“It’s the same everywhere,” he said. “Rural counties are plagued by high property taxes.”

Amedore established a fundraising arm for a Senate campaign in February, less than a month after the redistricting plan was released. The 46th District includes parts of Montgomery, Schenectady, Albany and Greene counties.

Democrats have a small enrollment edge over Republicans in the new district. But the new seat also includes all of Montgomery County and a large swath of Schenectady County, an area that heavily favored Amedore during his last run for assembly.

Democrats haven’t chosen a candidate to run for the district, which some consider to be tailored for Amedore. Coeymans Town Board member Thomas Dolan, Schenectady community organizer Monica Arias Miranda and Duanesburg school board President Cecilia Tkaczyk have all expressed an interest in running, however.

Republican supporters attending Amedore’s campaign announcement credited his appeal to his no-nonsense demeanor. Mike Rest, a member of the Guilderland Republican Committee now living in the first home Amedore’s father built in 1977, said the candidate’s down-to-earth candor would endear him as a state senator.

“Here’s a guy who’s a straight shooter,” he said. “He’s a businessman, he’s not a career politician.”

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