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GOP-Backed Candidates Take Capital Region Primary Races

Lucas Willard

Republicans battled for their parties’ nomination in the 112th and 113th Assembly Districts on Tuesday.

Appearing alongside Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, who secured a spot on the ballot for November’s state Senate race in the 49th, Mary Beth Walsh claimed victory in the race for Tedisco’s current 112th District seat.

Walsh, an attorney from Ballston, took home 52 percent of the vote and said she would continue her momentum to November.

“I should be in good shape. I’m going to run as hard as I have so far. I agree, absolutely, with Jim Tedisco. I’ve learned a lot from campaigning with him over the last couple months. I’ve learned a lot about maintaining energy and getting out and really communicating genuinely and clearly to the voters,” said Walsh. 

Walsh outspent her primary rival Jim Fischer, a small business owner from Burnt Hills who ran an unsuccessful race against Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko two years ago. 

“As much as I’d enjoy it and would make a good servant of the people, the voters have made that decision,” said Fischer.

Fischer said he was up against the “power of the party” in the GOP race.

“They can exert their will and that’s what happened here. That’s the way it works.”

Fischer said he would support Walsh this fall. Much of the district lies over suburban Schenectady and Saratoga Counties: reliably Republican territory.

Walsh will face Glenville Democrat Michael Godlewski in November.

In the neighboring 113th District in Washington and Saratoga Counties, party-backed Chris Boyark secured the GOP nomination with 58 percent of the vote.

Boyark, who has never held elected office, was chosen over fellow newcomer Gerard Moser.

In a statement, Boyark said he was “humbled” by the support he was given on the campaign trail. He said after meeting voters “there is a real sense by many that our government no longer works for them. This campaign has never been about me. Instead, it’s about bringing sanity back to the halls of our corrupt Capitol so we can once again concentrate on the priorities we all share.”

Boyark also congratulated his primary opponent.

Moser said he thought he did well, despite the loss.

“For a bunch of folks who have never done this before, I think we did a great job.”

Moser said he hoped Boyark would take back the seat currently held by Democrat Carrie Woerner for the Republican Party, which is a small minority in the Assembly.

Woerner, who has held the office for two years, was elected following the retirement of Republican Tony Jordan, who then became Washington County District Attorney.

In other regional Assembly contests, Republican incumbent Karl Brabenec deflected a challenge from Monroe resident John Allegro in the 98th District. Allegro may appear on the November ballot on the United Monroe line pending the outcome of a court case. On the Democratic side, Rockland County’s Aron Weider defeated Krystal Serrano.

Democratic incumbent Ellen Jaffee won her primary in the 97th District against Thomas Gulla.

In the 94th District, Republican Kevin Byrne bested Suzanne McDonough.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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