Former Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence ED to challenge McLaughlin
Kenneth C. Crowe II is reporting for the Times Union Republican Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin is facing a potential challenger in Schodack resident, Democrat Gwen Wright, 65. Wright is the retired executive director of the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. McLaughlin has launched his 2021 re-election campaign with a $238,000 war chest; Wright says she plans to raise $200,000 to $250,000 for her run. “I’m very confident that we’ll get it,” said Wright, who was recruited to run by the progressive Rensselaer County Women for Change organization. She would be the first black woman to run countywide. Wright’s challenge now is winning the endorsement of the county Democratic and Working Families Party organizations. The Democrats hope to select a candidate by early February. Richard Crist, the county director of operations and a GOP political operative who worked on McLaughlin’s campaign in 2017, said, the campaign appreciates the financial support received to date, and the fact that many are recognizing McLaughlin's work reducing taxes three consecutive years, paving more than 100 miles of roads, supporting historic job creation, a bond rating upgrade and a compassionate and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Wright said she will be campaigning on protecting the county’s environment including water resources, taking advantage of the county’s Hudson River frontage for quality of life for residents and building the tourism industry, developing infrastructure that will benefit residents and pursuing economic development. She also wants to help local businesses in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic having seen for herself by working in a woman’s clothing store how devastating the pandemic has been. Read the full story in the Times Union.