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Senate 46th: A Fight To The Finish


It’s “déjà vote” in the race for New York’s 46th district state Senate seat.

No—this isn’t an old story from 2012. State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, a Democrat, and former Republican Assemblyman George Amedore are in a rematch for New York’s newest state Senate district, and they’re relitigating some old arguments.

As was two years ago, the focus is again on big money, PACs and George Soros.  Some observers, including the Amedore campaign, believe Tkaczyk's 18-vote squeaker happened because of money.

George Amedore:  "Cecelia Tkaczyk's hypocrisy has no end. Once again, New York City billionaires are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to buy the seat for the Senator, who votes for New York City's interests 97 percent of the time. The residents of the 46th Senate district won't be fooled again."

With the "New York City factor" in play, the Tkaczyk Democrats have forged ahead with their anti-Amedore agenda. With control of the Senate in the offing, the stakes in the 46th — one of only a few truly competitive seats statewide on Tuesday — are high.

Cecilia Tkaczyk:   "My opponent claims that I vote in line with my New York City colleagues? You have to remember, most of the bills that we see on the floor are those being sponsored by Republicans. And what my record shows is that I'm supporting legislation introduced and sponsored by the Republican majority."

Accusations are flying in fast and furious fashion:  Tkaczyk is accused of putting aside her position on campaign finance so her re-election effort can be funded by outside interests.  Amedore is accused of receiving money from corporate special interests, then voting to help big corporations.

As in any political race, and especially this one, there is no love lost between the two contenders.

Cecilia Tkaczyk:  "My opponent has taken more than a million dollars recently from New York City real estate developers and landowners and he has consistently voted to protect their interests. He's voted against increasing the minimum wage and against, time and time again, against giving women equal pay for equal work when they are doing the same job as men."

George Amedore:  "I am not against women. I am not against children. And for my opponent to use a vote that I made and that I continue to make because it is a bad bill. It does not bring pay equity for equal work or equal pay for equal work for anyone in the state of New York. If everyone would understand the description in the details of that bill, no one would vote for that bill."

Both candidates pledge their support to the people of the 46th district, which covers parts of Albany, Schenectady and Ulster counties and all of Greene and Montgomery counties.  The district was created in the last round of redistricting.

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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