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Democrat Pete Harckham Discusses His Race For A NYS Senate Seat

Courtesy of Pete Harckham

Democrats are hoping this will be the year they retake control of the New York state Senate for the first time in a decade. One key race November 6th is for the 40th District seat, where Republican incumbent Terrence Murphy faces Democrat Pete Harckham. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Harckham about why he’s in the race and his top issues.

Harckham comments on the array of pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats last week.

Harckham supports so-called “Red Flag” laws to help prevent mass shootings like the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. He says the laws allow concerned family members or community members to petition a judge to temporarily take guns away from specific people who are a danger to themselves or to the public. Harckham says he wants to ensure that New York becomes the 12th state to pass a Red Flag Law.

Harckham’s opponent, incumbent Republican Terrence Murphy, who is running for his third term, has historically tried to tie his Democratic challengers to New York City politics, including Mayor Bill de Blasio.

He says term limits were set at 12 years at the county level, and thinks perhaps 16 years would work best at the state level, but he is open to discussion. The 40th Senate District includes portions of Dutchess, Putnam and northern Westchester Counties, and contains the Buchanan-based Indian Point nuclear power plant, which is shutting down by 2021. Local officials have been concerned about the closure’s impact on taxpayers. Harckham points to a now closed nuclear plant on Long Island as an example.

Harckham is a Democrat from South Salem in Westchester County running in New York’s 40th Senate District. Republican Murphy is from Yorktown, also in Westchester.

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