One-term senator faces challenge in re-election bid
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.
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.
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