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Race for open Assembly seat heats up

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Democrat Dennis Tarantino, a lawyer from Glens Falls, says he's ready to ramp up his campaign for state Assembly. Meanwhile, Republican Dan Stec, town supervisor of Queensbury, continues to rack up endorsements in the race for the new 114th District seat. Both men are vying to replace Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, a Willsboro Republican who will step down at year's end to spend more time with her family. Chris More has more.

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Reported by

Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent

Dennis Tarantino formally announced his candidacy last week. He says he can make an immediate impact in Albany. “I’m hoping the district will accept someone kind of from the outside, a business kind of guy, and I think if they take a hard look at the candidates, I should win the race,” Tarantino said. “I have the optimism that I can convince the voters that I’m the right person for Albany.”

Tarantino says he wants to give voters a “clear choice” in November. He notes that one of the early favorites for the Democratic nomination, Jay town Supervisor Randy Douglas, is similar to Stec; both are town supervisors, and both chair their respective county boards. “A candidate like myself, who is not coming from public service, raises the first question: I’m a private-sector businessman, I’m a professional,” Tarantino said. “My opponent is like a Randy Douglas, who by the way I thought would have made a great candidate, but that’s apples and apples. I’m apples and oranges. I’m a whole different approach to Albany. I take a hard look at Albany. I come in as an outsider.”

Stec continued his local government tour last week, sitting in on the Essex County Board of Supervisor’s Ways and Means Committee meeting in Elizabethtown. After the meeting, Republican members of the county board gathered outside the courthouse to endorse Stec’s Assembly bid.

Roby Politi is supervisor of the town of North Elba. He said Stec “understands all of the issues which affect local government and county government. He’s always available and on top of the things we need to address.”

Stec has been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. He says the support he’s received from Republican town supervisors in Essex and Warren counties is just as important.  “As a town supervisor myself, these are people that professionally I have a lot in common with,” Stec said. “We have a lot of similarities in our issues, what we do – our jobs have a lot of overlap. We know what it’s like to walk in each others’ shoes. As peers, it means a lot to me to have my peers in Warren County, Essex County, really acknowledge that, ‘Hey, this is somebody that we think knows us and can bring our issues forward to Albany.’”

The 113th Assembly District will become the 114th District next year, shedding Hamilton County and picking up parts of Saratoga and Washington counties.

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