A Democratic challenger has stepped forward to run against Halfmoon Republican New York State Senator Kathy Marchione.
Brian Howard is running for state Senate because he believes the political system needs to see some big changes.
“I really believe that there are some individuals who are in politics who are poisoning it, and are setting the example that I don’t want the next generation to think is typical of politics,” said Howard.
Howard has never served as a lawmaker, but spent his career as an educator and school administrator throughout the 43rd Senate district.
For six years he served as superintendent of Queensbury schools, and more recently as an interim superintendent in Troy and Berlin. He holds a doctorate in education from the University in Albany.
Howard said his experience in the classroom will help the legislature make changes to New York’s oft-criticized rollout of the Common Core education standards.
“I believe in standards – that’s fine. I believe in checking in on accountability, but there’s some easier ways of doing it. And I also think we have to address educational funding and inequities there,” said Howard.
Howard said he has secured the Democratic nomination in Saratoga, Rensselaer, and Columbia Counties. He said he also expects the endorsement in Washington County.
Another key issue he intends to address is the influence of money in politics.
“If we don’t reform it, it’s such a corrupt system that we’re not going to have one person’s vote be equal to another person’s vote. So I think campaign finance has to be addressed,” said Howard.
Senator Marchione has served since winning the 2012 election. She defeated former Senator Roy McDonald in a close Republican primary that followed McDonald’s key cross-aisle vote in support of same-sex marriage in 2011. The 43rd district has been under Republican control for decades. It is the home of former Senate majority leader Joe Bruno, who represented the district for more than two decades.
Howard said he wants to debate Marchione on the issues in every corner of the Senate district.
“Let’s sit down, let’s get through the issues, let’s compare it, let’s have a civil conversation, and let’s go to where the people are and let them listen to what we have to say, instead of filtering through 30 second ads,” said Howard.
Marchione said she welcomes future opportunity for discussion.
“I have been representing my district over the last 15 or 16 months very openly, letting people know where I stand on issues, being a strong voice and using my vote where it really counts on Second Amendment issues, budget issues, and I would look forward to having debates throughout the district that will focus on maybe various topics that we’re looking at, as it get’s much closer to the election,” said Marchione.
No other candidates have joined the race.