Not on the ballot
BETHLEHEM — Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy stood in the afternoon sun behind a podium just outside the Glenmont Roundabout, attending a flag-raising ceremony meant to mark the end of a profound project in a legislative district she will soon no longer oversee.
“Unless something else changes,” she said, turning back to her fellow politicos with a hint of doubt.
Since the Independent Redistricting Commission revised state Senate and Assembly’s legislative maps, the process has been deliberated in courtrooms over whether it followed the rules. New lines for the senate were tossed just a few months later. A similar suit ultimately decided the same for the assembly lines, but not in enough time to affect this year’s political races.
All members of the State Assembly are running for re-election. Next January, her 109th District seat will retain New Scotland and parts of Guilderland, but pulls her out from Bethlehem completely to focus more on the City of Albany. That’s how the district will be defined for at least the next two years, according to a court ruling earlier this year.
What happens in 2024, is still up in the air. For now, Fahy is running to keep her seat in the Assembly. The Democrat faces a race against Republican challenger Alicia Purdy to be decided outside of Bethlehem
The State Assembly’s new map breaks the town into two separate districts, shifting representation from Democrat to Republican.
Assembly District 107 now absorbs Delmar and North Bethlehem, running a southern border along Crebel Road, cutting across the back end of Elm Estates and stretching west along Feura Bush Road before adopting the town’s western most border.
Delmar is now included in the predominantly rural communities of Rensselaer, Columbia and Washington counties of the current 107th District represented by Republican Jake Ashby. In May, the Castleton native declared his candidacy for the reconfigured 43rd Senate District, leaving his Assembly seat open to an unopposed contest with fellow Republican Scott H. Bendett the de facto successor.
The rest of Bethlehem — notably South Bethlehem and Selkirk — now falls upon Republican Chris Tague’s seat in the 102nd District.
Races on this year’s ballot
Christopher Tague, R
Tague, formerly Schoharie’s town supervisor, is no stranger to issues related to rural communities. Within the state’s lower house, South Bethlehem’s interests will no longer compete against those of the City of Albany, but they will be included with the likes of Otsego County, the Catskills and everywhere in between.
He was first elected to the New York State Assembly in April 2018, then reelected to serve a full term the following November, serving all of Greene and Schoharie counties, along with parts of Delaware, Columbia, Albany, Otsego and Ulster counties.
His platform focuses on expanding access to broadband internet in rural communities, COVID-19 recovery, reducing taxes, providing support for local farmers, infrastructure and heroin addiction.
Tague’s challenger on this year’s ballot is Democrat Nicholas Chase.
Nicholas Chase, D
The Delaware County teacher announced his run for the Assembly in March, pitching a platform that leads with education and follows with agriculture, energy, guns, healthcare and infrastructure.
The 21-year-old newcomer is otherwise employed as a full-time substitute teacher, an experience he has said he draws from to push for more funding for education. His stance against guns also includes introducing background checks and mild regulations for gun owners.
Another local race captured on the ballot for Bethlehem voters includes longtime Democrat representative, state Senator Neil Breslin challenged by Republican Richard Amedure.
Neil Breslin, D
Neil Breslin, Democrat, is currently serving as New York State Senator representing the 44th District, which consists of parts of Albany County and parts of Rensselaer County. Born as one of six children, Neil is a lifelong resident of Albany.
On academic scholarship, Breslin attended Fordham College from which he graduated with a BS degree in Political Science. While in law school at the University of Toledo, he was named the editor-in-chief of the Law Review. Upon graduation from law school, he became an associate in the firm of Garry Cahill & Edmunds and two years later became a partner in a new firm entitled Garry, Cahill, Edmunds & Breslin. In 1981, he formed a partnership with his two brothers, Michael and Thomas. Currently, Neil practices law as “of counsel” to the firm of Barclay Damon, LLP.
Breslin currently serves as Co-Chair of the Legislative Ethics Commission and is a member of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.
Breslin appears on this year’s ballot under both the Democratic and Working Families lines.
Richard Amedure Jr., R
Richard Amedure is running for State Senate in the 46th District, appearing on both the Republican and Conservative lines on this year’s ballot.
A longtime resident of Rensselaerville, Amedure served on its planning board for several years. Through this and his own efforts as the owner of a small farm, he’s claims a positive reputation for his efforts to preserve green space and maintain the local character of the town.
Amedure served in the military, and for 30 years as a state trooper. Along the way, he earned several distinctions for valor while on-duty and recently retired as First Vice President of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association.
Amedure is campaigning against the bail and discovery reform laws, which he said is “devastating… to our communities and to law enforcement.” His platform also includes plans to advocate on behalf of family farms, small businesses to grow the local economy.