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Democratic Primary Endorsements

by The Staff on September 12, 2012 · 1 comment

New York State Assembly District 109: Patricia Fahy

Of the six candidates running to fill the Assembly seat of the retiring Jack McEneny, one clearly stands out: former Albany City School Board President Patricia Fahy.

Her service on that board earned her praise from many quarters, as she worked tirelessly to, among other things, see through the plans to revitalize the city’s aging stock of school buildings. Her commitment to the education of Albany’s diverse student population is underscored by the fact that she has continued to work on youth- and education-related issues as a consultant and a member of local boards and school groups, as well as serving as co-chair of a youth work group during her time as an associate commissioner with the state Department of Labor.

There, she also pushed workforce development initiatives and advocated for employment funding for youth and the underemployed. She is an advocate of using tax credits as incentives for job training, internships and mentoring, and her approach generally is to connect proposed projects like the convention center and casino gambling to investments in job creation and training. The jobs focus is not surprising given her strong resume: She worked in the early Clinton administration under Labor Secretary Robert Reich, and later, she was the founding executive director of the Chicago Workforce Board.

Overall, Fahy’s experience, measured and constructive approach to problem solving, and clear passion for public service make her an easy choice. We heartily endorse her for the Assembly.

New York State Assembly District 108: Carolyn McLaughlin

Newly created District 108, formerly the 106th and currently held by retiring Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, encompasses Cohoes, Green Island, Watervliet and part of Albany. That the Albany portion of the district has been enlarged is part of the reason we’re endorsing Carolyn McLaughlin. While her opponent, Cohoes Mayor John McDonald, offers only boilerplate suggestions for improving the region, McLaughlin seems in tune with the new constituency. While we have been underwhelmed by McLaughline’s performance as Albany Common Council president—part of which stems from the somewhat figurehead nature of the job—she was an effective Common Councilwoman, and we offer our endorsement without reservations.

New York State Senate District 44: Neil Breslin

Neil Breslin, the incumbent Democratic Senator in the soon-to-disappear District 46, is being challenged in the primary by Albany County Legislator Shawn Morse for the newly created 44th Senate District. We see no reason to make a change. Breslin’s knowledge of the region’s people and problems is thorough. He is responsive to his constituency, and is a strong advocate for the Capital Region. An experienced legislator, he was one of the steady hands during an otherwise chaotic period when Democrats controlled the New York State Senate. His opponent, however, is aligned with a breakaway faction who only seeks to create even more disharmony within the party. We enthusiastically endorse Neil Breslin in the Democratic Primary.

Albany County District Attorney: David Soares

Whether your response when driving past Occupy Albany protestors last fall was to honk your horn in approval or roll down your window and shout “Get a job,” perhaps most of us can agree on one thing: There was no need to clutter the court system with prosecutions of ordinary citizens whose peaceful presence in two downtown Albany parks caused no harm to anyone. So when Gov. Andrew Cuomo had them arrested for trespassing on state property, and District Attorney David Soares announced he would not prosecute them, while some people grumbled, we felt it was the right thing for Soares to do—and that it was indicative of the discretion that Soares usually applies to his position.

Lee Kindlon is a smart, rising star in Albany, but we do not believe he has shown us any reason to replace Soares. The current DA is not perfect and has made an occasional misstep, but mostly, we believe he has changed the office into a more progressive and constructive one that places community first and reaches out to poor and often-overlooked neighborhoods; in particular, we are pleased that he has been able to work in tandem with Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff on community policing.

We strongly endorse David Soares for another term as district attorney of Albany County.