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Three candidates competing for 107th AD seat

Oct 25, 2020 5:45 am
Natasha Vaughn is reporting on the three-way race for open seat in the 107th Assembly District. Libertarian candidate Charles Senrick, 62, grew up in East Schodack and has lived in the district for 24 years. He has been employed by New York state for 33 years, starting as a file clerk and later becoming a team leader in the Attorney General’s office. Senrick attended Columbia and East Greenbush high schools, SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Albany. For move than 25 years he has been a special events and projects volunteer with the Historic Cherry Hill House in Albany. He has also volunteered with the Community Hospice in Rensselaer County. Senrick believes some of the most important issues facing the district are environmental, citing the discovery of water contamination in Petersburg and Hoosick falls, as well as Norlite's incineration of toxic fire extinguisher foam. “I believe it’s important to protect our water and our land. That’s a big issue,” Senrick said. “A few years ago we also had the possibility of a pipeline being put through this area. I believe the fossil fuel infrastructure is not a direction that we want to be headed in.” Incumbent Republican Jake Ashby was first elected to the Assembly in 2018. He grew up in Castleton and earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Keuka College. Ashby served eight years in the Army Reserves. He completed combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and led a civil affairs team on a humanitarian mission to Malawi, Africa. Ashby is a former instructor at Maria College and is now an occupational therapist in private practice. “I think our experiences set us apart. Having a background in health care, owning and operating a small business, working in a local college, are all things that sets my team apart. I’m also a veteran, and I’ve served in the military,” Ashby said. He was elected to the Rensselaer County Legislature in 2017 and won a seat in the Assembly in the 2018 special election to fill the seat vacated by Steve McLaughlin. One of the most important issues facing the state is restoring balance and creating a working state Legislature, Ashby said. It is imperative for the majority leaders in both houses to come together so all members can work on legislation, he said. “The governor has a disproportionate amount of power right now and we need to get back to work as a Legislature in order to start functioning as a state again,” Ashby said Brittany Vogel is the Democratic candidate running the 107th Assembly District race. “The reason I’m running is because working people aren’t being represented,” she said. “We really need a balance in our system, in our government. I really am trying to do this to help people.” Vogel, 28, lives in Brunswick. She was raised in Rotterdam. She graduated from Hudson Valley Community College with an associates degree, but could not go further with her formal education because she did not want to accumulate a large amount of student debt, a factor holding back many people of her generation, she said. At 23, Vogel started a nonprofit organization called Upstate Cakes for Kids, which makes birthday cakes for children living in poverty. She has worked in retail for 11 years and is now a manager of a grocery store in Kinderhook with about 120 employees. Vogel sees the public health crisis and the needed economic recovery as the most significant issues facing the district. She supports legislation that would protect against wage theft, protections for unions and a $15 minimum wage. She also supports several bills aimed at improving public water, closing hazardous waste loopholes for oil and gas companies and closing down the Dunn Landfill in Rensselaer County. Vogel supports the New York Health Act, which would eliminate co-pays, deductibles and premiums. Read more about all three candidates at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.