McDonald faces potential new challenge from Marchione

By David Lombardo – Daily Gazette
Saturday, March 17, 2012 – http://www.dailygazette.com/weblogs/capital-region-scene/2012/mar/17/0318_royblog/

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Saratoga County Clerk Kathleen Marchione has emerged to potentially challenge State Sen. Roy McDonald for the Republican party nomination.

The Saratoga County Republican Committee was supposed to endorse a candidate for the 43rd Senate District on Saturday but put off a vote due to Marchione’s entry into the race and questions about committee voting procedures, said county Republican Committee Chairman Jasper Nolan.

In recent weeks, support for McDonald, R-Saratoga, in Saratoga County has begun to disappear because of his vote for same-sex marriage rights, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax package and an exception to the new tax cap. But with Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Melrose, announcing this week that he wouldn’t run for the state Senate, it appeared that McDonald was in the clear.

Marchione is the former supervisor for the town of Halfmoon and has served as county clerk since initially being elected in 1997. In 2007, she gained national notoriety as president of the county clerks’ association for opposing then-Gov. Elliot Spitzer’s plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Wilton Republican Committee Chairman Scott Kingsley predicted that the “anti-Roy McDonald” vote in the county would rally behind Marchione, who he said was very popular in the county. He said her big challenge would be getting her name out in Rensselaer and Columbia counties, which are contained in the district. The Washington County towns of Easton and Cambridge are also in the district, and those Republican Committees have endorsed McDonald.

Last week, McDonald received the endorsement of the state Independence Party. The state Conservative Party has said it is looking to endorse a candidate besides McDonald.

Nolan said the committee will likely meet within 10 days to endorse either Marchione or McDonald. If the two meet in a primary election, McDonald would start with a huge fundraising advantage.

Also at Saturday’s meeting, the committee endorsed Matt Doheny and Bob Dieterich for Congress, Dan Stec, Tony Jordan and James Tedisco for Assembly and Hugh Farley for state Senate.