The race for New York’s 46th state Senate District seat, which includes parts of Albany, Schenectady and Ulster Counties, and all of Montgomery and Greene Counties, includes a write-in candidate. WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas spoke with Gary Greenberg.
With Republican Senator George Amedore not seeking re-election, four candidates are hoping to fill the vacancy. Democrat Michelle Hinchey, Republican Rich Amedure, a distant relative of the Senator, Green Party candidate Robert Alft, and a Democratic "outsider."
Gary Greenberg didn’t get enough valid signatures to mount a primary challenge against Hinchey. He says his write-in candidacy has a fighting chance to win the seat.
The 62-year-old, who has a background as a child-rights activist and fought for passage of New York's Child Victims Act, says the fastest route to get the district back to normalcy is a financial one, which begins with the state budget. His plan to get New York on more solid financial footing involves sports betting.
"New Yorkers are actually going like that in New York City, Westchester County, even Long Island are crossing over into New Jersey with phones. So they can because it's location. So you know, on a Sunday morning, they can go over in New Jersey, use their phone and bet. You know, sports football games is the big thing right now the same in the southern tier, and Western New York, they can go over to Erie, Pennsylvania, and in Pennsylvania and bet on football games. New York state is losing all that revenue, and it is quite a bit. New Jersey just had record revenue last month in the sports betting online."
Sports betting is legal within state-sanctioned casinos, but not mobile.
Greenberg supports the Environmental Bond Act, which was delayed this year, and recognizes some major issues the district faces.
"Broadband, in the rural areas is an issue, particularly, you know, at this time when schools, you know, are going remote in some of the areas in the 46th, you know, they're very poor, the reception. So, of course, we have to, the infrastructure of telecommunications and, you know, going forward, we need to update that. So yes, it is an important issue, as long as you know, and law and order and justice and health care. I think I'm the only candidate in this race who says they will vote, as is the New York State Health Care Act. I think it's one vote short, and I wanna be that vote."
Greenberg adds he has concerns about civil unrest, urban violence, and the "wrong people" having guns.
"You know, I have a record of fighting for people. And that's something I think we need at this time. We need someone with that experience with the situation, the crisis to go in, and to go to Albany immediately and start fighting for the residents of the 46th district."