Northern New York voters on Tuesday will choose between a long-term incumbent and a former economic developer in the race for 45th state Senate seat.
Some of the candidates who dropped out or lost the crowded primary in northern New York’s congressional race decided to run for other offices. Emily Martz lost in the Democratic primary and subsequently decided to run for state Senate. Martz, who had resigned from the Adirondack North Country Association to campaign, maintains that the region needs policies to move it forward in the 21st century. “People are leaving the region. One of the reasons that I ran for Congress was to make sure that everybody can realize their full potential and that’s what I want to do for this region. And I think we need some fresh voices, some fresh energy in order to help make that happen.”
Republican Betty Little served seven years in the state Assembly before she won election to the Senate and is now seeking her ninth term. Little has said she would be out discussing issues with her constituents whether or not she had an opponent. “I enjoy getting out in the district, meeting with people, talking to them, seeing what is going on, what their needs are, how I can be of assistance. But I love this part of the job actually better than the job in Albany because I’m out with the people and really talking and seeing and going to things and meeting with people. So Election Day is important and campaigning is very important and I’ve always done it whether I have an opponent or not.”
SUNY Plattsburgh Professor of Political Science Harvey Schantz finds that this race has for the most part been under voters’ radar. “There was no debate between the candidates. So Emily Martz really continued the issue push that she had in her race for the Congressional seat: universal health care, Medicare-for-All. And she also likes to emphasize broadband and also bringing good jobs to the district. So all-in-all Emily Martz has run a Progressive-Democratic campaign. Betty Little really has been running on her record and the trust and familiarity that she’s brought to her district and constituents over her years in office.”
Schantz adds New York’s 45th District has been solidly Republican for decades. "Betty Little succeeded legendary Ronald B. Stafford in 2002 and Stafford represented this district for 37 years. The Democrats have had a difficult time getting a candidate to run against Betty Little in this district. In fact she’s had only two Democrats oppose her the whole time. The Democratic Party will be able to see what their potential strength is in this Senate district. But as of now this is a Republican seat."
New York’s 45th state Senate district includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Warren and parts of St. Lawrence and Washington Counties.