A longtime New York State Senate Democrat is facing a rematch this fall against his 2016 Republican opponent.
Democratic State Senator Neil Breslin has held office in the Capital Region seat for more than 20 years. First elected to the Senate in 1996, Breslin’s current 44th District includes the City of Albany and much of Troy.
He seeking a 12th term on the issues he says he’s always run on.
“I’ll focus on much of what I’ve always focused on and that’s making New York State, and the Albany County area, Rensselaer County area, just fairer. To be able to have people make a wage that allows them to support their family, that all children get a fair education. And in the campaign itself, I just want to make sure no matter what party you’re in, that everybody’s civil,” said Breslin.
In 2016, Breslin faced a challenge from Cohoes Republican Chris Davis — who went down by a more than 2 to 1 margin. Democrats outnumber Republicans in enrollment 3 to 1 in the district.
Davis, who supports term limits, says he wants to give people a chance to have their voices heard.
“This district is tough to run in. I mean, it’s drawn to be heavily Democratic. But, that leaves a lot of people feeling underrepresented especially when people aren’t stepping up to run against incumbent Democrats. So, you know, I’m coming at this from a moderate’s perspective. We want to bring common-sense strategies to promote small business, to promote education, fix some of the infrastructure problems we have,” said Davis.
Davis, an epidemiologist by trade, works for a company that contracts with the New York State Health Department, with a focus on Governor Cuomo’s Prevention Agenda. Davis says his experience gives him a different perspective than the many legislators who come from a legal background.
If the Democrats retake the majority in the Senate, Breslin could be in line for a leadership role.
A longtime attorney, Breslin is a member of the Legislative Ethics Commission and the former president of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. His campaign filings total more than $168,000.
Davis criticized Breslin’s contributions from insurance companies.
Looking back on his run against Davis two years ago, Breslin is seeking a change in tone in the months ahead.
“It should have been gentler. It should have been better. And hopefully, it’s two years later, and it will much more of a relationship that can debate the issues and not the personalities,” said Breslin.
In YouTube videos uploaded in 2016, Davis slammed Breslin, saying he “doesn’t care about you” and has “done nothing for us.”
Breslin did not publicly debate Davis that year. Now, Davis is again seeking an open debate with the Senator.
“I screamed and pleaded to get a debate and Senator Breslin refused to debate the issues publicly with me. So I would hope that he would reconsider that and give me the courtesy of a public debate this year on the issues,” said Davis.
All state offices are up for grabs November 6th.