By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
FONDA -- The main guest speaker at the Montgomery County Democratic Dinner Thursday was state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, who brought attendees through the trials and triumphs of her campaign for state senator.
Prior to Tkaczyk's speech, county Democratic Chair Bethany Schumann-McGhee took the podium and detailed some of the senator's work since taking office.
"She supports health care that supports family farms in counties like ours, encourages renewable and solar energy throughout the state, and she's been vocal in her opposition to fracking," Schumann-McGhee detailed. "She's just been an advocate for the little guy. ... I think that we are lucky to have her in our senate district."
As Tkaczyk, a Democrat from Duanesburg, took the podium later in the evening, she thanked the party for their support during her campaign.
"This is not something I did by myself. It's so important to have everyone on board because in case you didn't notice, every vote mattered," she said. "Every vote counted and, frankly, every vote should get counted."
Tkaczyk brought the attendees through her campaign from her perspective and told them that there were little things that helped get her through.
She said she was a frustrated school board member with two unfortunate choices to choose from in her school district, so she decided she needed to go to Albany to talk to legislatures about the schools.
"It was OK if I lost because I knew that I was going to have the opportunity to talk about issues that mattered to our community," she said.
With no information on how to run a campaign, she said people in Montgomery County got involved and more and more joined to help campaign.
When the votes came in, it was a frustrating process to wait for two months to hear the end result, she said, but "thankfully, the appellate division ruled that more votes should be opened."
"In my race democracy stumbled, but justice prevailed," she said later. "To me, it's just, as a community, we really need to make sure that votes do get counted and our voices are heard. Me being here is reflective of that battle."
Tkaczyk won a tough election battle against former Republican Assemblyman George Amedore to represent a new state Senate district initially created to help the GOP keep control of that legislative body.