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Democrats tap Eachus to run for New York’s 99th Assembly Seat

The New York state Capitol
The New York state Capitol

A veteran Orange County legislator will run on the Democratic line for the New York state Assembly’s 99th district seat.

Chris Eachus has emerged as the party's choice after Zak Constantine ended his campaign. The University at Albany student opted to drop out rather than primary Eachus, who says he entered the race late.

"Believe it or not, I was on vacation for an entire month," Eachus said. "And when I got back from vacation, I thought that there needed to be a choice and specifically a choice with experience for this particular position, the position up in the assembly. And so I then went with my wife and found out how to go about running a primary. And we had to quickly within about 13 days collect together signatures, enough signatures to qualify to be on the ballot. And we did that. And so then I got on the ballot. But that was not until late last week, when you take a new obviously, apply your signatures and you become qualified."

Eachus says he has the experience to handle the Assembly post after serving as an Orange County legislator for 12 years.

"During that period of time, I represented all the municipalities in this particular district, as well as the rest of Orange County. Basically, all of these municipalities and the folks in these municipalities know me, know my name, know, my reputation," said Eachus. "What I was looking to do with the experience, is the fact that I believe that as of January 1st, 2023, this is going to start a very critical, very critical year for the state of New York, as well as all of the other states, but most importantly, New York State. And that's because all of this reconstruction, money, recovery money, COVID money, will come to an end. And so now, the states have to, once again, work on their own to be sure that their budgets are efficient, and still back all of the programs that are necessary."

Eachus says the most pressing issues facing the district are familiar ones: school and property taxes, education and internet access. "I'm convinced that basic internet should be free for everybody. And, you know, we'll work on that," said Eachus.

Meanwhile 21-year-old Constantine says he'll stay firmly rooted in Hudson Valley politics, on his way to becoming chair of the Orange County Democratic Committee.

"Our Orange County Democratic committee chairperson Brett Broge is going to be stepping down in order to pursue a new professional opportunity," said Constantine. "He informed me in no uncertain terms that he felt I was the best person to succeed him. "

Constantine says Chris Stage will become the temporary chair and a reorganization meeting will likely occur in May, where he will formally seek the position.

Republican Town of Woodbury councilwoman Kathryn Luciani is also seeking the 99th Assembly seat.

Incumbent Republican Assemblyman Colin Schmitt is running for Congress in a bid to unseat Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney of the 18th district.

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.
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