THE 43RD STATE SENATE DISTRICT covers all of Columbia County, but voters in this county account for only one of every five voters in a district that stretches north through Rensselaer County into Saratoga and Washington counties. Incumbent Senator Kathleen Marchione is the first to represent the district since it was redrawn in 2012. She is challenged by Brian Howard, an educator, who was a principal in the Chatham school district before becoming a superintendent at districts in Rensselaer County.
No one can overlook the work Ms. Marchione has done on behalf of the district, including here Columbia County, finding funds for all sorts of local organizations, working on behalf of veterans, listening to the concerns of small businesses and others and seeking ways to respond to the sudden upsurge in heroin use.
This represents hard work and voters have the right to hope those types of efforts will continue regardless of who wins November 4. Right now, among the biggest problems we have is the fallout from the botched rollout of the Common Core and Mr. Howard has joined Ms. Marchione and others in rebuking the Education Department for how Common Core was mishandled. But he’s also one of the relatively few people who understand the reasons for the screw-ups and he has plausible alternatives that won’t strangle us with new taxes.
On another contentious issue, as a gun owner and the holder of a pistol permit, Mr. Howard says he would not have voted for the SAFE Act gun control law because of the hasty way it was presented. Unlike others, including Ms. Marchione, who insist the law be repealed, he understands that the law is popular in New York City and the suburbs, where the majority of the state’s voters live. And with legislative repeal unlikely to happen, the only way to address flaws in the SAFE Act is to negotiate reasonable amendments. Mr. Howard could be a constructive voice in this process. Ms. Marchione rules out that possibility.
He also believes the state should not forbid consenting adults from marrying, which is another stance that distinguishes him from his opponent. This is a basic civil right that was withheld from fellow citizens for far too long.
Brian Howard should have the opportunity to represent the people of the 43rd District in the New York State Senate. Please vote for him November 4.