Joshua Thomas/For The Recorder State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, at podium, announces her re-election bid Saturday in Fort Plain with local officials and staff. Shown from left are Montgomery County Legislature Chairman Thomas Quackenbush, interns Abbey Dearwester, Cassandra Toro, and Jacob Aison, and Old Fort Plain Plaza owner John Hart.
By JOSHUA THOMAS
For The Recorder
FORT PLAIN -- At Erie Station Saturday, state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg. announced before a crowd her intent to run for a second term to represent the 46th Senate District.
The announcement came in front of local and county officials and dignitaries, supporters, business owners and village and county residents.
Tkaczyk, accompanied by her 15-year-old son Peter, said, "I'm really excited to start here." Plans involved Tkaczyk announcing her re-election campaign in Guilderland at noon and Kingston at 4 p.m.
"When I met the people here, and I saw how hard they worked and how much it took to come back from the flood, I wanted to make sure they knew I care about this community," she said.
Tkaczyk said people of western Montgomery County have expressed that they feel "left out," adding she wants to "send a strong signal" that she "remembers the people here, and I'm here to represent them."
Republican George Amedore announced his campaign for the seat in April. Tkaczyk defeated Amedore for the seat in the 2012 general election.
"For the last two years, we have not had someone in this Senate district who represents our interests or shares our values fighting for the things that matter most," Amedore said at the time. "That is going to change. I have faith in the future of New York and we need to restore the public's faith in our government."
Tkaczyk acknowledged that she faces a tough fight in the rematch.
"Her opponent and his operatives have been spreading lies and half-truths about her record since she was first elected," a press release said. "They have used websites, robo-calls and radio ads, misinforming residents that she voted against increased education aid, or assistance for senior citizens."
Numerous speeches preceded Tkaczyk's official announcement Saturday.
Speaking first was Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton, noting that Fort Plain is looking very different today than just after the June 2013 flood.
Of Tkaczyk, Barton commented, "When we needed help, she was over at Save-A-Lot, she was in mud up to her elbows, and I appreciate all the work she did for Save-A-Lot, the business community and the village of Fort Plain."
Old Fort Plain Plaza owner John Hart said that the first time he saw Tkaczyk, "She had a pair of muck-boots on and she was covered in mud and she was carrying who knows what out to the dumpster."
He continued, "Once you're elected, you can do as little or as much as your integrity and commitment will take you, and I'm really impressed with what Cecilia has done."
Assemblyman Angelo Santa-barbara, D-Rotterdam, who toured and surveyed the damage in Fort Plain with Tkaczyk, stated, "She's worked so hard in this area, this region -- in her entire district. We're very lucky to have her, to have a person that responds so quickly."
Montgomery County Legislature Chairman Thomas Quackenbush recounted that upon meeting Tkaczyk for the first time. He thought, "you have to love her enthusiasm, but she doesn't stand a chance against this guy [Amedore]."
Quackenbush said while he didn't feel she'd win the primary during her initial run, his opinion of Tkaczyk has completely changed after seeing her in action. Tkaczyk, who he said "is fighting for you every single day in Albany," quickly put forth legislation to relieve flood-affected residents of partial tax burden on damaged and destroyed properties, stating, "that's responsiveness, and that's what we need in a senator."
Erie Station owner Angela Frederick said of Tkaczyk, "What she's done and continues to do is really what Fort Plain is about. When you talk about community, she's it. She's a farmer, she's been on a board of education, she's a mom. She's all those things, so she really knows the reality of what we're dealing with and that's why she will always have my vote."
Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane recalled the first time she met Tkaczyk at a luncheon, requested by Tkaczyk to discuss campaign methods, stating that she seemed "tentative," but she soon "discovered a woman that is smart, inquisitive, informed and has such a diverse background."
"We had a warrior on our hands, and boy, oh boy, did she prove that," Thane said.