EDITORIAL: State Senate 43rd: Aaron Gladd

THE STATE SENATE seat for the 43rd District has no incumbent candidate. State Senator Kathleen Marchione, a Republican first elected to the seat in 2012, announced that she would not run for reelection. Seeking her seat are Democrat Aaron Gladd, also on the Working Families and Women’s Equality Party lines, and Republican Daphne Jordan, who is also on the Conservative, Independence and Reform lines.

All of Columbia County is in the 43rd District but that equals only about 21% of all active voters. The parts of Saratoga and Rensselaer counties are where the voters live. A very small part of Washington County is also in the 43rd District.

Both candidates have government experience. Ms, Jordan, a lawyer, is a Halfmoon town councilwoman and was legislative director for Sen. Marchione.

After college at U Albany and a graduate degree, Mr. Gladd was deployed as a U.S. Army captain and platoon leader in combat in Afghanistan. When he returned to civilian life he became deputy policy director in the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The two candidates have proposed some of the same solutions to the state’s high taxes and corrupt practices. They want term limits and Medicaid funding reform, too. But Mr. Gladd has committed to some important specific goals, calling, for instance, for changes in the way public school teachers are evaluated. And he speaks about the importance of ensuring that this district and the rest of the state have clean water supplies, an especially sensitive topic in this district, where industrial pollution has seeped into village water systems.

Both candidates also call for some sort of finance reform. And this week that issue became real when the Times Union reported that supporters of Mr. Gladd called for him to return a large but legal contribution from a wealthy donor who supports charter schools. It’s exactly the type of toxic campaign financing that should not be allowed. The public needs an example leadership here. Mr. Gladd should return the money.

If Aaron Gladd can show that his campaign proposals are principles not rhetoric, then he deserves to be elected senator. His platform offers hope that state government can be reformed in ways that benefit all New Yorkers. His background suggests he has the skills to deliver. It’s up to him now.

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