This November, the balance of power in the New York State Senate will be determined. A Democratic political newcomer is challenging a two-term Republican Senator in the newest district in New York — the 46th.
The 46th District includes all of Montgomery and Greene Counties, and portions of Schenectady, Albany, and Ulster Counties. Republican Senator George Amedore has held the seat since 2015.
Amedore is facing a challenge from Democrat Pat Strong.
Strong, a 63-year-old Kingston businesswoman, calls herself a “serial volunteer.”
“I’ve been volunteering for many years in my community. I decided to run because, like many people, I’m getting very concerned about what’s going on in Washington, and what’s going on in Albany. And in particular, I watched with dismay this last year as so many good bills went to die in the New York State Senate, and in particular, the gentleman who is now my opponent, voted to let domestic abusers keep their firearms,” said Strong.
Strong is referring to Senate Bill 8121, which was passed by both chambers and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The legislation requires those convicted of domestic violence charges to surrender all firearms. It also prevents anyone wanted for a felony or serious crime from obtaining guns.
Amedore said the bill has a “great, heartfelt title.”
“But, yet, it’s one of the those bills that the devil is in the details. And when you read that bill – anybody who voted for that bill – really – I question their belief in the Constitution,” said Amedore.
Amedore, a homebuilder who previously served in the state Assembly, says he’s running again to build on what he’s accomplished for the 46th District. But says New Yorkers face a huge problem: high taxes.
“We need property tax relief. It’s fiscally unaffordable. It puts a drain on homeowners, on seniors, all the way down to a first-time homebuyer. We see a drain, an outmigration of population in upstate New York, because of the unaffordability,” said Amedore.
Strong said she is in favor of creating opportunities for young people through renewable energy.
Other major campaign issues for the 49-year-old Amedore are education funding and tackling the opioid addiction crisis. Among Amedore’s committee assignments, he is chair of the Senate’s Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Task Committee and co-chair of the Heroin Task Force.
Strong attacked Amedore as being a part of the “radical Republican conference.”
“They have been unwilling to look at common sense legislation. Everything from environmental protections, to a woman’s right to choose, to access to healthcare, they’re just not doing their jobs,” said Strong.
Amedore, as have other Republicans who are seeking to keep the GOP’s tenuous hold over the State Senate, pointed to 2009 and 2010, when Democrats controlled both houses of the legislature in years that coincided with the Great Recession.
“What did they do? They raised spending by $14 billion. They raised taxes by $14 billion. That means more people needed to dig down deeper in their private pocketbooks and pockets to pay for the one-party-rule spending,” said Amedore.
Strong owns a small marketing company. If she wins but Republicans retain their majority, she said, compromise “permeates everything” she does in business.
Amedore says he has “has the pulse” of the 46th District and will continue to deliver results.