(Hamilton, NY – April 2014) At an April 16 meeting of the Madison County Democratic Committee in the Rathskellar at Hamilton’s Colgate Inn, candidates for election to the NY State Legislature were heard and endorsements were decided.
After being questioned about issues in the state as well as the role of the Independent Democratic Conference, incumbent David Valesky was endorsed by acclamation in his campaign for a sixth term in the NY State Senate representing the 53rd Senate district.
Candidate Michael Hennessy of Sherrill was endorsed by a paper ballot vote for the Assembly seat representing the 121st Assembly district. Hennessy had presented his “Fix Albany” agenda, characterizing his record in the Oneida County Legislature as socially progressive and fiscally conservative. He recognized the long service of Assemblyman William Magee, but looking forward to a primary, said, “It’s time we debate our differences, enlighten the voters and strengthen our party by having five debates throughout the district.”
Hennessy said that he would support enactment of a raise in the minimum raise, the full women’s equality agenda, equitable funding for education throughout the state, campaign finance reform, the “dream act,” and term limits. He indicated that he would have agreed with past legislative actions to support marriage equality as well as healthcare reform and that he would work for amendment, but not repeal, of the SAFE act.
In answering a question, he opposed “hydrofracking” on the basis of current evidence, saying that it would deeply affect this region’s “life style” by increasing heavy industrial road use as well as threatening environmental quality.
Hennessy also called for strong efforts toward economic development that would support agriculture and dairy farming as well as other businesses in Central New York.
Michael Oot of Stockbidge, Chair of the Madison County Democratic Committee, said, “It was an interesting meeting. It was clear that the entire committee holds a deep affection for Assemblyman Magee, but took seriously Mr. Hennessey’s pledge to support the Party platform; and today, issues matter. I’m pleased to say that the Committee pledged to unite and support the endorsed candidate.”