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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Saturday, February 15

Southworth makes it a crowd

Former Ballston Town Supervisor Patti Southworth announced Saturday that she will make a run at unseating Republican Hugh Farley from the New York Senate seat he has occupied since Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford.

That makes her the third candidate running for that spot (including Hugh at least).

Farley represents the 49th Senate District, which encompasses the western half of Saratoga County, all of Fulton and Hamilton counties, as well as portions of Herkimer County and Schenectady County, including the city of Schenectady. The district has 76,126 registered Republicans, 57,437 registered Democrats and 10,313 Independence Party voters.

He is the longest-seated state senator, having coasted to his 19th senate victory in 2012 against Democrat Madelyn Thorne with about 59 percent of the vote. (61 percent of the Saratoga County vote).

The two look as though they will be squaring off again this year, with Thorne already scooping up the Saratoga County Democratic endorsement, but the two will have a little company in the race this year.

Southworth was chair of the Saratoga County Independence Party until last year. She is now a registered Democrat, but said she was running even without the party's endorsement.

"I've never been one to  be a part of the political machine. It is very important in my eyes that people have a choice when they go to vote."

She made her announcement on 1160 WABY's Phil Barrett Show Saturday morning and then we spoke on the phone afterward.

Southworth has been endorsed by the Democrats in the past, but this time she said she would be running without that nod, though she will be interviewing with Hamilton County Democratic Committee. Saratoga County Democratic Committee Chair Todd Kerner said Southworth was present during the Thorne interview and never expressed any interest to him in running for the office.

After six years as Ballston Town Supervisor, she opted not to pursue a fourth term, instead making a brief run for Saratoga County Clerk last year (she said she was running in March and withdrew in May).

Southworth ceased that run after saying she had 150 people call and tell her she should run for state office.

"It made me sit back and think 'what is happening in state government,'" she said. "The people need someone who will use common sense, be an independent voice and stand up for what's right for the people."

She said she will focus on jobs, taxes, the environment and education, as well as "trickle down taxes" where the state pushes new mandates on to local governments without economic support.

Southworth encouraged anyone who wants to talk to her about the issues, her campaign or anything else to call her on her cell at 441-6548.

And in case you are interested, here is a video of the endorsement interviews we held with Farley and Thorne a couple of years ago.

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