EDITORIAL: Barrett for Assembly

THE 106TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT includes the City of Hudson and the southern half of Columbia County as well as a considerable chunk of Dutchess County. The incumbent Assembly member, Didi Barrett , a Democrat also on the Independence and Working Families ballot lines, is running against Dutchess County Legislator Kelsey, a Republican also on the Conservative line.

Ms. Barrett, who won a special election and then a full term, has proved to be a forceful and effective advocate for farmers, seeing agriculture for what it is–an economic engine. She’s worked helped secure support for the cultural attractions that draw tourists here, another big part of the local economy. She stood with the people of Ghent, when power lines were planned that would cut a new swath through scenic countryside, and stayed with the opponents until a satisfactory compromise was achieved. Most recently she’s stood up for local farmers and other landowners fighting a much larger power line project that would cut through the county.

She has also introduced legislation to address chronic Lyme disease treatment issues and has specific plans for relieving local taxpayers of state mandates. And people will remember her bring state and local officials together to provide firsthand information on the enormous fire at the TCI plant.

Mr. Kelsey is a thoughtful and energetic man who is passionate about improving the delivery of mental health services in the state. But even on that subject, where he clearly has experience, his ideas for how to remedy the system’s most serious shortcomings sound vague. He’s refreshingly open about his lack of knowledge when it comes to the way the state works, yet that also makes it difficult to determine what kind of a legislative agenda he has in mind.

Ms. Barrett’s engaged, responsive and knowledgeable representation of the district makes her the right choice for Assembly member from the 106th District.

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