With the retirement of longtime GOP State Senator Hugh Farley, 112th District Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco is seeking to fill his shoes in a campaign against Democratic challenger Chad Putman.
That leaves an open contest for the seat Tedisco’s held in the Assembly for 33 years.
The largely suburban and rural 112th covers portions of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties. Republican Mary Beth Walsh and Democrat Mike Godlewski will be on the ballot.
Walsh is an attorney by trade and served on the Ballston Town Board, Saratoga County Water Authority, and Saratoga County IDA. She bested former local Congressional candidate Jim Fischer in September’s Republican primary.
Walsh said the primary process forced her to get her name out in the district early.
“Although nobody really wants a primary, I think that in the end, that may actually be an advantage for me,” said Walsh.
Walsh, who was endorsed by the outgoing and popular Tedisco, said she’s ready to push for ethics reform if elected.
“I’m hearing that people really are kind of sick and tired of politics-as-usual and they’re looking for somebody coming in that has maybe an approach that is more inclusive and more results oriented and is going to really support meaningful ethics reform,” said Walsh.
The candidate, whose oldest son is on the autism spectrum, also said more needs to be done to support people with special needs once they graduate out of the school system.
Democrat Michael Godlewski said name recognition is also a challenge for his campaign.
“For us it’s making sure that our message is getting out there. Our volunteers, as well as myself, have been out knocking on doors, handing out literature. We’re going to be making some phone calls,” said Godlewski.
Godlewski, who lives in Glenville, serves as First Deputy County Attorney for Schenectady and in that role is chief prosecutor for child abuse and neglect. He’s also worked in private practice and as an adjunct faculty member for Mildred Elley.
Godlewski, like Walsh, says voters are looking for new faces. Taking on property taxes as a main campaign issue, Godlewski says he would work to shift the responsibility of Medicaid costs from county to state government.
“That will result in an immediate 50 to 60 percent decrease in homeowners’ county property taxes. I’m calling it a common sense solution that we can do, it actually has bipartisan support,” said Godlewski.
Godlewski also wants to see more state support for public education and a decrease in student debt. He would like to see a service program for recent high school graduates in exchange for discounted college tuition.
In the neighboring 113th District, Democratic incumbent Carrie Woerner is seeking a second two-year term against Republican rival Chris Boyark.