A New York Assembly District that has been without representation in Albany for nearly a year has chosen a new candidate.
The 113th Assembly District, which includes portions of Saratoga and Washington Counties, has been without representation since Republican Tony Jordan resigned in January to become Washington County District Attorney. Governor Andrew Cuomo did not call for a special election to fill the seat.
In the close contest between Republican Steve Stallmer and Democrat Carrie Woerner, Woerner edged out a victory Tuesday night.
Woerner, a software developer and a member of the Round Lake Board of Trustees, ran against Jordan two years ago. She reflected on her three years on the campaign trail.
“The lesson of the last three years, the lesson of last night is that hard work, listening to people, learning from people who are working in the district, living in the district, pays off.”
Woerner said she does not put much weight on the district’s swing from Republican to Democrat. She said the economic impact of the communities along the I-87 corridor is growing, but that the communities upstate share similar problems.
Woerner said she hopes to follow a model of a bipartisan, united upstate in Albany.
“All of our communities face the same challenges. They’re rural communities. We have small towns and villages that are struggling with infrastructure, that need infrastructure investment in order to bring in private dollars. Our schools are struggling. They are common problems and there are common opportunities.”
Woerner campaigned on women’s equality, fiscal responsibility, and her experience in government.
Stallmer, a former congressional aide to Chris Gibson of the 19th district, said he wishes he would have spoken out more against a few issues, including Common Core, during the campaign.
Stallmer also reflected on the large amount of money spent during the campaign season. He estimated that $1 million was spent between the two campaigns.
“So I think that shows, if that’s not a really clear sign, for the need for campaign finance reform and the way to get these mass amounts and transfers of money out of the system. You’re talking a million dollars for 37,000 votes. That’s ridiculous.”
Stallmer said he believes a controversy over language used in his campaign mailers against Woerner took attention away from the issues. Critics said Stallmer’s campaign tried to distort Woerner’s record on taxes as a Round Lake trustee.
“I take sole responsibility for what my campaign put out. I’m the final say on what we send out in mailers and stuff, but I think we put out some information we could have conveyed in a different manner. I definitely learned some lessons on this campaign on how to articulate your message and how to get your campaign across in a different way,” said Stallmer.
Stallmer congratulated Woerner on her victory.
“She worked incredibly hard herself, so she deserves it.”
During the period the district went without representation in Albany, Republican Jim Tedisco of the neighboring 112th District spent time hearing from constituents.