Kathy Marchione to test water against Senate incumbent; GOP endorsement on hold
Times Union – By Jimmy Vielkind
Published 10:26 p.m., Sunday, March 18, 2012
ALBANY — Another Republican primary challenger to Sen. Roy McDonald emerged over the weekend, prompting the Saratoga County Republican Committee to once again hold off on endorsing the incumbent for another term.
Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione declared her candidacy early Saturday, pushed by Republicans in her hometown of Halfmoon, and others in the party disappointed over McDonald, R-Saratoga. Specifically, they point to votes last year to renew an income tax surcharge on New Yorkers reporting over $1 million in earnings and to legalize same-sex marriage — even after McDonald, the former Wilton town supervisor, said he would repeat his 2009 vote against gay weddings.
Marchione enters the race after Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Schagthicoke, opted against a challenge last week. He flirted with a run and received encouragement from some Republicans and members of the Conservative Party.
“I’m talking with a lot of people and I’m testing the water,” said Marchione. “I really believe that it’s time to bring the consistent conservative voice back to Albany … which means that when I go to Albany and pledge to my district that I’m not going to raise taxes, I won’t. That I won’t vote for gerrymandered district lines in the middle of the night. That I won’t vote for gay marriage when I pledged I wouldn’t.”
Marchione is most known for her role in the 2007 debate over issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, a proposal of then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Marchione was a vocal opponent, and said would refuse to issue the licenses even if it meant removal from her post. She was first elected in 1997.
After postponing once, Saratoga County Republicans met Saturday morning at the Wilton Elks lodge, where a resolution to bless McDonald was proffered. Several chairs moved to table it, citing Marchione’s nascent candidacy.