One-term sen­a­tor faces chal­lenge in re-elec­tion bid

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

State Sen. Ge­orge Ame­dore is be­ing chal­lenged in his bid for a sec­ond term by Sara Nic­coli.

Ame­dore, of 633 Gif­ford Church Road, Rot­ter­dam, will be on the Repub­li­can, In­de­pen­dence, Con­ser­va­tive, Re­form and Green Party lines on the Nov. 8 bal­lot in the state’s 46th Se­nate Dis­trict. Nic­coli, of 625 In­dian Road, Fort Plain, will be on the Demo­cratic, Work­ing Fam­i­lies and Women’s Equal­ity Party lines.

The 46th 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.

Ge­orge Ame­dore

Ame­dore, 47, is em­ployed by his fam­ily’s home-build­ing com­pany, Ame­dore Group. He was a state as­sem­bly­man from 2008 through 2012 and lost a bid for his cur­rent state Se­nate seat in 2012 be­fore win­ning the seat two years later.

Ame­dore grad­u­ated from Schal­mont High School in Rot­ter­dam in 1987 and is a mem­ber of Bethel Full Gospel Church, the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion, the New York Ri­fle and Pis­tol As­so­ci­a­tion and Ducks Unlimited.

He and his wife, Joelle, have three adult chil­dren.

“Our prop­erty taxes are too high,” he said. “What needs to be done is to get them low­ered, and how we do that is ... man­ag­ing them by ex­tend­ing the prop­erty tax cap. We have sup­ported the re­turn of the tax re­bate checks, and we need to elim­i­nate the un­funded man­dates.”

Ame­dore also said the state “should pay the full county share of Med­i­caid, not just any an­nual in­crease.”

Ame­dore said the state should work to bring broad­band in­ter­net ser­vice and re­li­able cell phone ser­vice to ru­ral coun­ties.

“You look at parts of Ul­ster County, parts of Greene County, the hill towns of Al­bany County, the parts of ru­ral ar­eas of Mont­gomery County and Sch­enec­tady — there are ar­eas that have no in­ter­net ser­vice or re­li­able cell ser­vice,” he said.

Ad­dress­ing cor­rup­tion in state gov­ern­ment, Ame­dore said elected state of­fi­cials should be lim­ited to serv­ing 12 years and that any con­victed of a felony should be barred from re­ceiv­ing a state pen­sion.

“I’m go­ing to fight hard to con­tinue ad­vo­cate for pen­sion for­fei­ture [and] term lim­its on all elected of­fi­cials as well as ... more re­al­time dis­clo­sure and trans­parency [by] elected of­fi­cials,” he said.

Re­gard­ing the grow­ing prob­lem of heroin ad­dic­tion, Ame­dore is call­ing for a multi-prong ap­proach in­clud­ing pre­ven­tion, treat­ment, re­cov­ery, ser­vices and en­force­ment.

Sara Nic­coli

Nic­coli, 39, is serv­ing a sec­ond term as Pala­tine town su­per­vi­sor and has a fam­ily farm. She is on leave as di­rec­tor of the New York State La­bor-Re­li­gion Coali­tion.

Nic­coli and her hus­band, Sean Mallinson, have a teenage daugh­ter.

Nic­coli grad­u­ated from Al­bany High School in 1995, earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in ge­og­ra­phy and ur­ban plan­ning from SUNY Al­bany in 2000, and in 2003 re­ceived a mas­ter’s de­gree in pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion from New York Univer­sity.

Nic­coli is on the ex­ec­u­tive board of the New York State Coun­cil of Churches and the Com­mit­tee on Faith and Prac­tice at the New York Yearly Meet­ing,

Nic­coli said the next state Leg­is­la­ture needs to deal with prop­erty tax pres­sure on home­own­ers, small busi­nesses, farm­ers and peo­ple on fixed in­comes.

“Over the past three decades, state gov­ern­ment has shifted the tax bur­den from the state level down to the lo­cal level, and we see that in the way we fund our schools, Medi­care and Med­i­caid, and var­i­ous other state man­dates,” she said.

Nic­coli says state law­mak­ers have not been ac­count­able for tax money used for job-cre­ation pro­grams that she be­lieves have fallen short.

“You see many peo­ple across the dis­trict driv­ing an hour or more to get to their jobs, or they’re piec­ing to­gether mul­ti­ple part-time jobs in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties ei­ther at fast food or re­tail or odd jobs,” she said.

“New York state spends $9 bil­lion a year in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment sub­si­dies,” Nic­coli said. “$1 bil­lion of that was [in­cluded] in the real es­tate in­dict­ment that [U.S. At­tor­ney] Preet Bharara is look­ing into, and it’s clear that we need to re­form the way we’re sub­si­diz­ing busi­ness and cre­at­ing jobs . ... If you look at that $9 bil­lion and at­tempt to track how many jobs were cre­ated and how our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties were im­pacted, it’s very dif­fi­cult to track re­sults.”

State Sen. Ge­orge Ame­dore, left, and Sara Nic­coli

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