EDITORIAL: In Senate race, McDonald deserves nod

THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY for the 43rd Senate District pits incumbent Roy McDonald against Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione, with the winner appearing on the November ballot against Democrat and Claverack Town Supervisor Robin Andrews.
The redrawn district covers all of Columbia County as well as most of Rensselaer County, parts of Saratoga County, including the city of Saratoga Springs, and a small part of southern Washington County. Both candidates are familiar with the district and both are qualified to serve. Both have impeccable credentials as conservatives, and their views on most issues don’t appear to be much different, an observation borne out by an item on Ms. Marchione’s website, which notes that she was “selected as the ‘Woman of Distinction’ by Senator Roy McDonald” in 2010.
But the primary campaign has turned bitter and divisive. The underlying cause is one vote cast by Mr. McDonald: He supported the state’s law legalizing same sex marriage.
It’s hard to understand why conservatives would oppose a law that extends civil privileges to more citizens. And given that the national GOP just nominated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to run for president, this party has shown it can accept candidates whose positions on issues change over time.
The resistance to same sex marriage doesn’t bode well for the future of the GOP. Polls make clear it’s a generational issue, with young people in particular telling anyone who asks that they don’t care who others choose as life partners.
Mr. McDonald has been a loyal and successful GOP lawmaker for many years and he has shown leadership with his vote on marriage equality. He has reached out to the communities in his newly redrawn district. Republicans should chose him as their candidate in the September 13 primary.

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