Posted at: 10/06/2012 11:11 PM
| Updated at: 10/06/2012 11:32 PM
By: Dan Levy
SCHENECTADY - Madelyn Thorne is well aware that the last person who ran against Hugh Farley, Schenectady County Legislator Susan Savage, could only muster 35% of the vote.
"I'm not sure I can do better than that," Thorne, the director of pastoral care at the Glendale Nursing Home, said. "But I know I'm going to do the work to do better than that."
Conversely, Hugh Farley fully understands that the last thing any politician can afford to do is to take an opponent lightly.
"Once you sit back on your laurels, you're going to get beaten," Farley, a former law school professor, says.
Farley hasn't been beaten in 36 years, winning 17 straight elections.
"I'm really excited about running," Farley admits, "I really am. I've got a new district and a lot of new areas and a lot of old areas."
Thorne says she sees people who deal with many medical, financial, and emotional challenges every day while working at the nursing home and believes people need someone in government who understands their problems and will work to find solutions.
"I'm a hard working, ethical, blue-collar type of a woman and that's the type of representation we truly need in Albany," she says.
But after closing a $10 billion budget gap, and bringing in two straight on-time budgets in the process, Farley says things are just fine in Albany.
"New York is doing things right now," he says, "And I'm very pleased to be part of it."
Thorne says she's not so sure Farley is part of it.
"I don't believe that Mr. Farley is working for us as hard as we need someone to work for us," she charges.
"I'm proud of my career," Farley counters, "Every day in the legislature, every day in the senate is a new day and there's new challenges all the time and I'm up to them, I think."
Thorne also says she believe more women are needed in the legislature because they're better at reaching across the aisle to reach compromise.
"It's a different mind set," she says, "Women know how to work on solutions and we don't tend to be quite so territorial."
Farley says he has "no quarrel" with that statement, but with a qualifier.
"I think that some of our finest senators in my conference are women," he says.
That's not to say the campaign is going negative.
"I do believe that in the course of his tenure as our senator, (Farley) has done many positive things," Thorne offers.
"Everything I've heard about my opponent, although I don't know her well," Farley responds, "is that she's a very nice person."
Both candidates agree that unfunded mandates, job creation, and New York's economy are at the top of the legislative priority list.
The 49th Senate District, the second largest district in the state, includes parts of Schenectady, Saratoga, and Herkimer counties, along with Fulton and Hamilton counties.