POUGHKEEPSIE – Mayor John Tkazyik, the Republican mayor of Poughkeepsie, has set up a campaign committee to run for the State Senate seat currently held by first-term Democrat Terry Gipson. The district includes portions of Dutchess and Columbia counties.
The Second quarter campaign contribution filing with the state Board of Elections shows he has $215,000 in the bank. Among his top contributors are City Administrator Camilo Bunyi, who donated $10,000; and former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth and her husband, Scott, each contributed $5,150.
Tkazyik said the Bunyi contribution actually came from his wife.
Other contributors include Karen Johnson, wife of Fire Chief Mark Johnson, who works at City Hall. She wrote a check for $2,500. City Corporation Counsel Paul Ackerman contributed $1,500.
Former Mayor Colette Lafuente contributed $500.
Poughkeepsie businessman Joe Lepore donated $10,000.
Tkazyik said there are many issues facing the state that he wants to be part of resolving.
“New York has the second highest local tax burden in the nation, an anti-business climate and unfunded mandates that are struggling counties, towns and cities where we see property taxes being raised that are forcing people to leave their homes and flee the state where the cost of living is cheaper,” he said.
Tkazyik’s mayoral term expires at the end of 2015 so should he run for Senate and lose, his mayoral seat would be safe. Because of term limits, he cannot seek a third term as mayor. Prior to holding Poughkeepsie’s top elective post, he was an alderman on the common council.