State Sen. Roy McDonald will not actively compete as a third-party candidate in the 43rd Senate District.
After a few days of significant reflection, following the revelation on Monday that Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione had essentially won the Republican nomination, McDonald sent out a lengthy email Thursday morning explaining he wouldn't be campaigning as the Independence candidate> he did not explain his decision to bow out of the race. His spokesman did not respond to an email.
Sources close to the campaign have said the decision stemmed from a desire to ensure the seat stayed in Republican hands, so his party could maintain its razor thin majority in the Senate. There was the possibility that his presence in the race could have split his party's vote and benefited Democratic candidate Robin Andrews in the heavily Republican district.
One source described this motive as an "unselfish decision" for his party.
In his email, McDonald does say he'll be supporting Marchione, because he is supporting all Republican Senate candidates.
"I believe maintaining the Republican Majority in the New York State Senate will continue to positively change state government," he wrote. "It is important to recognize the need for checks and balances in our democracy, which can only be assured by a multi-party system."
The day after the election he told The Gazette he was ready to campaign just as a third-party candidate. “I’m in this to stay,” he said at the time.
McDonald and Marchione engaged in a highly contentious and expensive primary resulting from his vote in favor of same-sex marriage, which prompted a conservative backlash. There was no mention of this historic vote in his Thursday's address.
Instead, McDonald highlighted his time as chairman of the Senate's Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, his role in bringing GlobalFoundries to Malta and bills he passed to help people, including autism insurance legislation and programs to help veterans.
"I am proud of my time in public service. Standing up for the communities I represented was always my first priority," McDonald wrote. "I have been a senator for all people."
Going forward, he promises to continue working as an advocate for people with disabilities and their families.