Posted at: 09/11/2012 11:38 PM
| Updated at: 09/12/2012 1:10 AM
By: Dan Bazile
TROY -- The two candidates have been fighting in a bitter campaign for the Republican nomination in the 43rd Senate district which includes parts of Saratoga and Rensselaer Counties as well as all of Columbia County. The debate was like watching a verbal boxing match with jab after jab from both candidates. In the end, the issues that many say are very important to them, like the economy and jobs, barely got any attention.
They set the tone from the very beginning with Kathy Marchione going after Senator Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, in her opening statement.
"Roy, you should be ashamed of yourself to say that I swindled taxpayers," Marchione said.
For an hour and half in the debate at the Sage College Campus in Troy, the two Republican candidates for the 43rd Senate district race kept on going. For some brief moments, they touched on pay raises for state lawmakers, taxes and economic development. But social issues and the candidates' nasty campaign tactics dominated the discussion.
"My campaigns, if you remember, have always been positive. They drove me to the breaking point. Enough already," McDonald said.
This campaign has gone down to the lowest that I've ever seen. And you do that when you're desperate," Marchione added.
Marchione said her opponent outspent her ten to one and continue to run campaign ads on television filled with lies and distortions about her work as Saratoga County clerk.
"Marchione filed for retirement to double dip taxpayers, collecting two paychecks and free healthcare for the rest of her life," a voiceover said in the campaign ad.
"It's not negative when it's truthful, McDonald said.
Marchione fired back, saying she filed for retirement to help out the Republican Party.
"If I am the senator, either my pay or my retirement is going back to charity. Where I come from, that's a very good thing," she said.
But she too has been blamed for the negativity by questioning whether McDonald works as a lobbyist or banker at M&T bank. She's also attacked the senator from the very beginning of the campaign on his vote that helped legalize same sex marriage in New York State and for collecting campaign donations from the gay community.
"I'm not saying that he actually got the money for the vote. I'm saying it's very suspicious," Marchione stated.
"I've never seen anything go south so bad, so quickly because there's no issues," McDonald said.
Whatever happens in Thursday night's primary, McDonald will still be on the ballot on the Independence Party line. Robin Andrews, the town supervisor in Claverack is the Democratic challenger.