Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
By MICHAEL CIGNOLI
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga County doesn’t have a consistent conservative voice in the state Legislature, Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione said Monday, which is why she’s challenging fellow Republican Roy McDonald for his seat in the state Senate.
After mulling a possible run for months, the former Halfmoon town supervisor formally entered the race Thursday night and has spent the past few days contacting local election committees to schedule endorsement interviews.
Her late entry into the race for McDonald’s district was enough to cause the Saratoga County Republican Committee to table its decision on a possible endorsement for the race, though the committee did make endorsements in other local races Saturday.
In a phone interview Monday, Marchione said McDonald’s votes on the marriage equality bill and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax plan contradicted his campaign platforms. McDonald has defended both votes, though they have cost the senator several endorsements, including that of the Wilton GOP Committee. McDonald was Wilton’s town supervisor for more than 20 years.
Instead, the Wilton committee endorsed Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, who has since announced he will not challenge McDonald.
Marchione has been contemplating a run for the Senate seat since McDonald’s controversial votes last year, but said McLaughlin’s withdrawal was the tipping point for her entry.
“I stand far from where he’s been voting and I believe people in our district are looking for a consistent conservative voice,” Marchione said of McDonald. “If they aren’t, they won’t vote for me.”
Other Republican and Conservative committees have come out and said they won’t endorse McDonald, though they haven’t endorsed anyone else. Marchione said she hopes to make inroads with those committees. The state Independence Party, though, has elected to endorse McDonald.
Saratoga County GOP Chair Jasper Nolan said his committee would re-examine offering a Senate endorsement within the next two weeks. He said he is personally “committed to helping Roy.”