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After the recent defeat of New York State Senator Roy McDonald (R - Saratoga County) by ultra-conservative Tea Bagger Kathy Marchione in last month's GOP primary, mainly over fallout from his vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, once little-known Democratic candidate, Robin Andrews has now emerged as a viable candidate in a district once thought to be "safe Republican."

Until the dust settled after last month's Republican primary, almost nobody gave Columbia County Democrat Robin Andrews much of a chance in the hotly contested race for the 43rd State Senate covering most of New York's Upper Hudson Valley region. This is even despite the fact that Andrews has had a very successful career over the past three decades as a budget and planning consultant in the magazine publication industry, now serving several high-profile accounts, including the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, National Geographic, and Yankee Magazine. Last year, when Robin Andrews entered politics, she beat tough odds by being elected the first Democratic Supervisor elected in thirty-five years in the rural, heavily Republican town of Claverack in Columbia County.

Since Roy McDonald dropped out of the race and endorsed his former rival Marchione, Andrews has now amassed several high-profile endorsements, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Planned Parenthood, the Empire State Pride Agenda, as well as the Human Rights Campaign.

From Kirsten Gillibrand:

COLUMBIA COUNTY—Democrat Robin Andrews has received the endorsement of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand in her bid to represent the 43rd Senate District in the State Senate. The newly configured district includes Columbia County and parts of Rensselaer, Saratoga and Washington Counties, including Senator Gillibrand’s hometown of Brunswick.

“Robin Andrews has the experience and skills necessary to lead the 43rd District to a brighter future,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Her long career as a budget and planning consultant and small business owner gives her unique insight into the issues facing her district and she knows what must be done to get New
York back to work. As a resident of this district, I will be proud to call Robin my State Senator.”

Andrews, who is currently the Town Supervisor of Claverack, NY and sits on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, has also earned the endorsements of the Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Washington Democratic Committees, as well as Planned Parenthood Advocates, SEIU Local 200, NARAL Pro-Choice NY, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Empire State Pride Agenda.

“I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for all of her support,” said Andrews. “Over the past several months, I have been to every part of the district meeting people and their message is clear—they want strong leadership with the experience necessary to help families and businesses succeed. Senator Gillibrand works hard for all of her constituents in Washington and that is what I intend to do in Albany.”

From the Empire State Pride Agenda & Human Rights Campaign:
COLUMBIA COUNTY – Today, the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), New York’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political advocacy organization and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, both announced the endorsement of State Senate Candidate Robin Andrews.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsements of both the Empire State Pride Agenda and the Human Rights Campaign,” said Andrews. “New York has always been a leader for equality -- in employment, health benefits, education, and marriage. I am proud to be the one candidate in this race who will continue that tradition and represent all people of the district, no matter who they are or who they love.”

Andrews has also earned the endorsements of SEIU Local 200, the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York, NARAL Pro-Choice NY and NY Choice PAC.

“On behalf of our members in New York’s 43rd Senate District, HRC is proud to endorse Supervisor Robin Andrews,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse.  “Robin represents the fair-minded majority in her district.  Always willing to fight for equality, she will ably serve all of her constituents in

From Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice & New York Choice PAC:
COLUMBIA COUNTY—State Senate Candidate Robin Andrews (D-Claverack) is proud to have earned the endorsements of NARAL Pro-Choice NY, Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York, and New York Choice PAC.

“Today, I am truly honored to accept endorsements from the groups that have done so much to ensure that all women have access to healthcare, especially when so many families are struggling,” said Andrews. “New York’s women need to know that their representatives will fight to ensure that their rights are protected and preserved. With so many other things to worry about, they should not have to struggle to find access to basic care. I want to assure the families of the 43rd Senate District that I am the
one candidate who will stand with them in this fight.”

Andrews, the Supervisor of Claverack, NY, is running in the 43rd Senate District which encompasses all of Columbia County and parts of Saratoga, Rensselaer, and Washington Counties.  She has also earned the endorsements of SEIU Local 200 and Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee.

“I want to thank NARAL Pro-Choice New York, Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York, and New York Choice PAC for all of their support. I look forward to working with them and fellow legislators to ensure the passage of the Reproductive Health Act once and for all.”

Recently, Robin Andrews had an interesting dialogue with local public radio (WAMC) commentator Alan Chartock:

The Republican candidate, Kathy Marchione is running on an extreme right-wing social and economic platform, opposing all reproductive rights, including embryonic stem-cell research, as well as also opposing both same-sex marriage and civil unions. On economic issues, Marchione opposes collective bargaining for unions, raising the minimum wage, and even supports a freeze of the salaries of teachers and all public employees. Marchione also referred to natural gas as "the cleanest fossil fuel" in a recent questionnaire on hyrdrofracking.

Contrary to continued conservative claims of Marchione being a "fresh voice" and an "outsider," Marchione has basically spent a lifetime as a career politician hack for the well-oiled Republican Machine in Saratoga County, first starting off as the supervisor of suburban Halfmoon in the early 1990s and later serving for a decade and a half as the County Clerk. Over Marchione's tenure in office, much of her campaign funding has come from Bruce Tanski, a major residential developer in southern Saratoga County, as well as several other large builders and developers from throughout the region. The last thing we need in the New York State Senate is one more well-connected, well-entrenched politician who's been around for decades and is beholden to numerous well-heeled contributors. Let's elect a true outsider. Let's elect Robin Andrews to the New York State Senate.

If you'd like to learn more about Robin Andrews, you can visit her website or Twitter page.

You can also listen to Robin Andrews speaking last summer at the Washington County Democratic Picnic:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice Summery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was rooting for MacDonald to win his primary. Gay City News did give much info on the Democrat candidate. Glad to hear about Robin and I wish you guys luck on defeating the Teabagging fool.

  •  Andrews is being outspent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by at least 5-1 -- Marchione has been sending out about two mail pieces a week since the primary and is on TV.

    The money that rich NYC Republicans showered on McDonald for his brave marriage-equality vote is just not happening for a married lesbian who is a Democrat.

    And what little money the Senate Democrats have is devoted to defending incumbents.

    An endorsement from the governor would certainly help.

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Sat Oct 20, 2012 at 09:54:48 PM PDT

  •  Kathy is a twit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, davidseth, RonV

    She is very local to me - only reason I cannot vote against her is that I am now a half mile this side of the redrawn line. But she has always been a power-hungry idiot, and many moderate Republicans in Saratoga County can't stand her (and yes, Marchione courted the wing nut vote). I am friends with her sister-in-law, and she can't stand her either.

    I hope Andrews descimates her in the election; I would vote for Robin if I could!

    "Do not believe in any thought that dehumanizes you." - James H. Cone

    by Word Alchemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:26:33 AM PDT

  •  Always great when dKos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, RonV

    notices our local, Columbia County stories.

    Nice summary.

    Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

    by davidseth on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:06:23 AM PDT

  •  Thanks For This Diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, RonV

    This would be a sweet win for our team.  Nothing would make me happier than to watch the wingnuts make a mess of this race by splitting the GOP vote, and losing a seat they probably could have held.  Go, Robin Andrews!

    P.S. -  It would be nice if Governor Cuomo (and faux Democrat) would step in and endorse Robin.  He's way too invested in the idea of making nice with Republicans.  We saw how that worked out with Obama....

    How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

    by Eagleye on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:40:50 AM PDT

  •  Didn't Marchione ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... rise to right-wing prominence through her fight to prevent undocumented workers form getting drivers licenses?

    Her bigotry goes beyond homophobia, it's racist as well. But being a bigot is often multidimensional existence.

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:43:00 PM PDT

  •  Has MacDonald (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    himself endorsed anyone? I know he decided to bow out instead of run as an indy, which is too bad.

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 10:49:42 PM PDT

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