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Orange County Town Councilor GOP pick to run for New York state Assembly’s 99th district

Republican Town of Woodbury councilwoman Kathryn Luciani.
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Republican Town of Woodbury councilwoman Kathryn Luciani.

An Orange County Town Councilor has the Republican nod to run for the New York state Assembly’s 99th district seat.

With incumbent Republican Assemblyman Colin Schmitt running for Congress in a bid to unseat Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney, the party baton is passing to Republican Town of Woodbury councilwoman Kathryn Luciani.

"I'm a single mom and I'm focused on my community. I run a community group called we are Woodbury. And I do a lot with just running different programs," Luciani said. "We organize things like a car parade. We helped businesses out of various cleanups. And my favorite thing was like a cleaning of an abandoned cemetery. So just getting involved in the community. And you know, when I ran for town board, I started branching out to other communities. Monroe, I was working with their town supervisor, Tony Cardone, and Sal Scancarello, who's on the town board, their mayor, Mayor Dwyer, they do a lot, they've like totally revitalized Monroe. So I started working with them about how they brought their Lake Street like back, you know, from literally devastation. And I wanted to bring those ideas back to Woodbury."

Luciani says communities working together grow stronger.

"When this came up, about running for State Assembly, I was really excited because a lot of the people in the district like Woodbury, Monroe, Palm Tree, Stony Point, New Windsor, Cornwall, they are all pretty much areas that I've worked with already, just doing community service, speaking with people, talking with the town boards," said Luciani. "So for me, it's very exciting to do that and feel that I can have, you know, a platform to help empower people in the community and let them feel that they have a voice and somebody who can speak up for them on a local level."

Luciani identified what she considers key issues the district faces.

"As a town councilwoman, I go to the courts a lot and you know, listening to the judges, the things going on with like bail reform," Luciani said. "That is definitely like a huge issue that I find. Supporting the police department, our taxes, I'm the fire recruiter here in Woodbury, and so I work firsthand with our first responders. And there's like a definite huge need for volunteers. I see like firsthand the issues that we're having, because our taxes are so high here in New York state. And a big crisis that we're having is trying to figure out a way to either be able to cut taxes for our volunteers. So this way, we can keep them here and not having them have to move to like Pennsylvania or down south."

Luciani promises constituents she will listen to their concerns.

"I'm hoping that people see that I'm a real person, that I'm always out there, I'm always doing community service. I'm always around, showing up at events, talking to people." Luciani said "I have my hands on the ground all the time. And that, you know, I'm a mom, I'm a real person, and I truly want what's best for the community, I want to hear what people have to say, I want to work with them, and bring all their ideas back, you know, and let them feel that they have a say, instead of somebody who's just looking out for themselves and to just keep going up that ladder."

Luciani is running against 21-year-old Democrat Zak Constantine, a University at Albany undergrad.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.