Senate debate focuses on corruption, Trump
Amedore, Niccoli face off two weeks before election for state’s 46th District seat
Albany’s “cesspool of corruption” and the presidential campaign took center stage in a debate between state Sen. George Amedore and Democratic challenger Sara Niccoli just two weeks before Election Day.
Speaking Tuesday evening during the event at the town of Guilderland library in Albany County, Amedore, R-Rotterdam, called for term limits and public pension forfeiture to clean up Albany corruption, but Niccoli, D-Fort Plain, pointed a finger of blame at him and said campaign contributions are the true problem.
“George Amedore’s first job is his real estate development firm, and it is no wonder that millions and millions of dollars from the real estate industry has been invested in his campaign,” Niccoli said.
She went further in her closing statement, accusing Amedore of being in lock step with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump has been very outspoken, incredibly inappropriate and offensive, but when it comes down to it, and I think that it is very important, the policies that Donald Trump supports are the same as the policies that George Amedore supports,” she said as she was drowned out by both jeers and applause from the packed house.
“By blocking the reproductive health act, George Amedore demonstrated lock-step allegiance to the values of Donald Trump,” Niccoli said after the crowd quieted. “By denying that
humans, that people and our behavior have anything to do with climate change, George Amedore shows that he is lock step in line with Donald Trump.”
Amedore didn’t get a chance to respond because under the rules, the debate ended with her comments.
“I think it’s a desperate move and kind of sour grapes, no question,” Amedore said afterward. “This is an important election year, and voters will decide who they want for their presidency all the way down to local elections.”
The 46th Senate District debate, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, was the only one so far in the Amedore-Niccoli race. They next event in which
the two are to participate is a candidates’ forum during the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast meeting on Thursday. That event, which also will feature candidates in other state Legislature races, is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. at the Best Western Plus hotel, 503 Washington Ave., Kingston.
On Tuesday, Amedore and Niccoli two found common ground criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act gun-control law but otherwise offered opposing views on abortion rights, education tax credits and giving convicted felons the right to vote.
Amedore, 47, comes from a family of successful
building contractors in the Albany area. This is his third campaign for the Senate. He lost his first race to Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk in 2012, then defeated her in 2014.
Niccoli, 39, is a town supervisor in Montgomery County who has spent her career working in the nonprofit sector. She is director of the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, a union advocacy group.
The 46th Senate District includes all of Montgomery and Greene counties; parts of Schenectady and Albany counties; and the Ulster County city of Kingston and towns of Saugerties, Woodstock, Hurley, Kingston, Ulster, Marbletown, Esopus and Lloyd.
State Sen. George Amedore, left, is being challenged in his re-election bid by Sara Niccoli.