This week, Clinton County businessman David Kimmel said he feels compelled to get involved in the political process again. He ran two years ago on the Conservative line but lost to Duprey, who won the race handily.
Kimmel joins a field that already includes conservative Republican Karen Bisso, an educator from Plattsburgh. Meanwhile, Democrat Rudy Johnson of Malone, the other candidate in that 2010 Assembly contest, says he hasn't made a decision whether to run again. Chris Morris reports.
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David Kimmel says he’s spent the last 17 months growing Kimmel Services, a business that specializes in network management and building security systems.
Kimmel says it’s important for citizens of any society to be involved, especially during trying times.
“I think as citizens who love our state and country, it’s incumbent upon all of us to be involved to some extent,” he said. “But I believe I can serve the people and proffer my good ideas by running for Assembly. It’s something I’m compelled to do. I believe I can’t sit out this year.”
Since 2010, polls have shown an uptick in optimism among New Yorkers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to enjoy high approval ratings, and some polls show that even the much-maligned state Legislature is earning back the public’s trust.
Kimmel says that optimism is important, but it’s equally important that people don’t get too comfortable.
“At the same time, we don’t want to be so enamored with the success that we don’t keep our eyes open and keep our - pardon the colloquialism - thinking caps on,” he said. “Not all policy that passes is necessarily good policy, and we want the Legislature not just to be passing bills, but to be passing bills that will have a positive impact. And we also want them looking at bills that have clearly been the priority of citizens and businesses for a number of years.”
Kimmel says he still stands behind his conservative principles when it comes to things like gay marriage and abortion, both of which he adamantly opposes. But in this race, he wants to put the focus on the economy and job creation.
“I owe it to myself, my supporters, and frankly to the voters,” he said. “I don’t mean to say I’m abandoning anything at all. I don’t mean to say I’ve suddenly gone from being one way to being another. I want to make sure it’s clear. And that’s something I can control by constantly focusing on those things.
One of Kimmel’s opponents in this race will be very familiar to him, and it’s not Duprey. Karen Bisso, an educator from Plattsburgh, is seeking the Republican line; she worked for Kimmel’s campaign in 2010.
Bisso says if she’s elected, her first goal will be to examine state law and remove unnecessary legislation from the books.
“We have so much legislation that is imposing on the lives and the liberties and personal freedoms of New Yorkers that it’s making it difficult for businesses to remain here, it’s making it difficult for us to use our Second Amendment rights, (and) it makes it difficult for us to have an ever-increasing tax burden as a result of unfunded mandates,” she said. “Increasing legislation decreases personal liberties.”
For Duprey, the election is a long way off, and she’s more concerned with turning in a budget that builds off last year’s success. But she did note that in 2010, she won every election district in her Assembly region.
“I’m certainly pleased by that and honored by that,” she said, “but I think that’s a result of people recognizing that I treat everybody fairly. I treat each person as I think he or she would like to be treated. And I work very hard.”
Duprey has been targeted by social conservatives for her support of last year’s gay marriage bill. That vote could give her traction among Democrats if Johnson decides not to run.
Johnson said in a voice message that he hasn’t made up his mind. He said he’ll speak with Democratic leadership in the district and go from there.
He expects to make a decision within the next couple of weeks.