The race for the 45th state New York Senate district seat is gearing up after Republican Betty Little’s announcement last week that she would retire. Republican Assemblyman Dan Stec on Wednesday announced that he’s running for the seat.
On December 5th nine-term Republican state Senator Betty Little announced that 2020 will be her last year. “It's time. And so I will not run for reelection in November.”
On Wednesday 114th district Republican state Assemblyman Dan Stec jumped into the race. Stec notes that he’s been representing the southern portion of the Senate district in the Assembly for the past seven years. “I'm just looking at, you know, what's good government. What can I bring to the table. What's needed. You know, here's somebody that knows the issues, knows the legislation, knows the players in Albany. What I need to do is I need to learn the rest of the particulars of the other half of the Senate district that I don't already represent. But I think I have something to bring to the table in that I was born and raised here, represented Queensbury for years before I was in the Assembly, was educated at Clarkson University in St. Lawrence County. I mean, I am a North Country guy and I've got the passion to do it. I think that I have something that I can contribute to try to maybe slow some of the direction that New York City is tending to bring us. And so when Senator Little said she was retiring, you know, I just felt like I had a role to play to help in the Senate.”
Stec contends the one party rule by Democrats over the past year in Albany has led to a metropolitan centered perspective that is detrimental to upstate and northern New York. “That includes the budget and the priorities that we set in the budget. There’s been a litany of things: free education for illegal immigrants, bending over backwards for prisoners rights as opposed to what about crime victims rights? And then on top of that we have a very real $6 billion hole in the budget. In good economic times we've got a $6 billion hole to fill this year. We're going to have to make some hard decisions and we can't keep saying yes to everything because our $176 billion state budget is only going to balloon from there.”
The 115th Assembly district includes the northern portion of the 45th Senate district. At the same time Republican Stec announced his campaign, Democratic Assemblyman D. Billy Jones announced he will not run for Senate. He says he likes what he’s doing and still has a lot of work to do in the Assembly. “I was asked by numerous people if I would consider it in the last several days and even before that. But now is not the time. I want to continue my work in the Assembly and being the representative for the 115th District here in the North Country. And I really do appreciate the support from the people here and I honestly do love my job.”
Clinton County Treasurer Kimberly Davis, a Democrat, announced her campaign for the Senate seat in May. She says it is crucial for the North Country Senator to be in the majority. "I know Mr. Stec is using the Democratic majority as a negative. But let's remember that Betty Little, that Senator Stafford, all were able to bring great resources back to the North Country and that's only done when you're in the majority. The other issue is that we do need a North Country voice. We need a voice representing rural counties. There are only three Democratic state senators representing upstate New York. So I will be able to bring our issues and our voice into that Democratic majority.”
New York’s 45th Senate district is the largest in the state at 6,400 square miles and covers Warren, Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties and parts of St. Lawrence and Washington counties.