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Walsh, Godlewski seek to replace Tedisco in Assembly

Walsh, Godlewski seek to replace Tedisco in Assembly

With 32-year Assemblyman James Tedisco looking to move up to the state Senate on Nov. 8, two people
Walsh, Godlewski seek to replace Tedisco in Assembly
Michael Godlewski and Mary Beth Walsh.

The 112th Assembly District seat hasn't been open in decades, in the sense of having no strong incumbent seeking re-election.

But with 32-year Assemblyman James Tedisco looking to move up to the state Senate on Nov. 8, two people are competing for the seat he will be giving up.

The race pits two family law attorneys against each other: Republican Mary Beth Walsh of Ballston and Democrat Michael Godlewski of Glenville.

Walsh spent eight years on the Ballston Town Board and is a former assistant Saratoga County attorney who practiced in Family Court, while Godlewski is also a deputy county attorney in Family Court, though in Schenectady County.

Godlewski, who is 33 and making his first bid for public office, believes his relative youth will appeal to voters.

Mary Beth Walsh

AGE: 50

ENDORSEMENTS: Republican, Conservative, Independence, Reform

EDUCATION: University of Rochester, Albany Law School


FAMILY: Married, six children or step-children.

"People have been very open and energized about the prospect of a millennial candidate," he said. "People want a new candidate with new ideas."

Godlewski faces an uphill battle, though.

By leanings, the district is heavily Republican, with 38,256 registered Republicans and 26,059 registered Democrats. There are 25,657 voters with no party enrollment.

Tedisco, a Republican stalwart running for the seat of the retiring Sen. Hugh T. Farley, has endorsed Walsh for the seat.

Godlewski said he is running on a five-point plan. Among his ideas:

-- Having government and business work together to create jobs, as he said has happened in downtown Schenectady and with GlobalFoundries in Malta.

-- Having the state take over the county portion of Medicaid costs, which he said would provide an immediate benefit in lower property taxes.

-- Making college more affordable, perhaps by reducing tuition at state schools for those who agree to stay in-state.

-- Increasing education, treatment, and other measures to battle heroin, which he calls "a public health crisis."

-- Enhancing elder care services.

Godlewski said the district will benefit if he is elected because he would become a member of the Democratic majority in that chamber. "I'd be able to work with the majority to get things done for the district," he said.

Michael Godlewski

AGE: 33

ENDORSEMENTS: Democrat, Women's Equality

EDUCATION: Skidmore College, New England School of Law in Boston

OCCUPATION: First deputy Schenectady County attorney, prosecuting child abuse cases in Family Court

FAMILY: Married.

Walsh said Tedisco was an effective member of the Assembly minority, and she believes that she can be, too.

“If you elect me you will be electing someone with a lot of experience. I will be able to hit the ground running," Walsh said at a candidate forum in Burnt Hills.

Walsh, 50, said her priorities would include ethics reform in Albany, trying to promote good-paying local jobs, and repeal of the Common Core educational standards.

In addition to serving on the Ballston Town Board from 2006 to 2013, Walsh is a board member of the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency, which can offer tax incentives to businesses that create jobs in the county.

Her ethics reform suggestions include term limits for legislative leaders.

She has also called for reducing property taxes as part of an effort to spur job growth.

Walsh said the Legislature should repeal the Common Core education standards, returning more control to local school officials.

She said she also supports full repeal of the SAFE Act gun control law, though she acknowledged that's unlikely to happen given the current make up of the Legislature.

The 112th Assembly District includes the Schenectady County town of Glenville and the Saratoga County towns of Providence, Greenfield, Galway, Milton, Charlton, Ballston, Clifton Park, and Halfmoon.

While he grew up in Rotterdam and now lives in Glenville, Godlewski said he's familiar with that part of Saratoga County from his days as a Skidmore College student.

Financially, the two candidates are on a relatively level playing field, with neither having raised an enormous sum of money. Walsh had $9,120 on hand a month before the election, according to the most recent state Board of Elections filing, while Godlewski had $6,482 on hand.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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