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George Amedore Is Returning To Albany

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Grand Old Party candidates celebrated victories Tuesday night across the nation and across New York State as discontented voters transferred power from sitting Democrats.  The 46th Senate District contest was one of the closest-watched New York State Senate races.

Senator Hugh Farley, also basking in fresh election night victory, was the liveliest of emcees at "Team Amedore H.Q." in Granville:     "The thrill of this evening is that we've got a brand new fantastic senator in George Amedore!"

It has been said that Cecilia Tkaczyk rode to her 46th Senate District victory over Amedore two years ago on the coattails of President Barack Obama's re-election.  This year, she campaigned for reelection with confidence.    "The fact that my opponent did nothing while he was a  sitting Assemblyman for six years, proves to me that he will not be standing up for education in the future."

The tables, along with nationwide public sentiment, have turned, and now it's Amedore riding a coast-to-coast power reboot for the Republican Party. He was overjoyed, abundant with gratitude,  when he stepped up to the podium to address supporters.    "This is a very uh...  uh...  I'll tell ya... this is uh... what a night!  Wow!"

The 46th district covers parts of Albany, Schenectady and Ulster counties and all of Greene and Montgomery counties.   Amedore explained,  "You got the Hudson Valley, you got the Mohawk Valley. But the issues are the same. The frustration of the voters and the residents, high property taxes, high cost of living. And we need to do much better. And we need a government that people can trust in, not be burdensome, but allow the residents of New York to live and make decisions on their own."

Amedore vowed to work to cut taxes and make the state more a more affordable place to live.

Amedore's 2014 race to the Senate paralleled Tkaczyk's: each candidate staked out district ideological ground, and each spent copious amounts of cash on mainstream media advertising. For a while, observers feared a deja-vu scenario would ultimately develop. But as polls began to come in, it became clear Tkaczyk didn't have the larger-than-life numbers needed to vanquish her foe.

"Right now, the Republican challenger, George Amedore, is in the lead. He's got almost 52 percent of likely voters, compared to 42 percent for Tkaczyk."   Numbers cited in October by Siena pollster Steve Greenberg align with those appearing now on the state Board of Elections website Tuesday night, which indicates Amedore beat Tkaczyk 55 to 43 percent throughout the five-county district.

Facing supporters at her election night headquarters in Albany, Tkaczyk said that although her campaign didn't win, she noted in her modest exit speech that the issues she fought for are still at the forefront, including fracking and education.     "We will go forward. Maybe not with me, but in other capacities. Thank you all. Be proud of the work we did, everyone. Feel proud of the work you did on my campaign, and I'll be eternally grateful."

Come January, it will be state Senator George Amedore. This time, when he is seated in the upper chamber, he’ll be there longer than a couple of weeks.

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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