Thorne to challenge Farley again for Senate seat
49TH SENATE DISTRICT Madelyn Thorne on Sunday officially announced her bid to unseat longtime state Sen. Hugh Farley, in a potential repeat of the 2012 election.
But before she gets another crack at the 19-term Niskayuna Republican, the 60-year-old Thorne will likely have to ward off a primary challenge from former Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth, who last month indicated her intentions to run. On Sunday, Thorne lined up support from a number of ranking Democrats, including U.S. Rep Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen and Anthony Jasenski, the chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature.
In addition, Thorne also received support from the Hamilton County Democrats, giving her endorsements from three counties within the Senate’s second-largest district. Previously, the Schenectady County and Saratoga County Democrats backed her.
Thorne, of Schenectady, hosted campaign events in Ballston and Schenectady on Sunday. In addition to announcing her candidacy, she rolled out a platform of fixing the inequity in the state’s school aid formula, enhancing economic development, raising the minimum wage, reforming campaign finance reform and passing the Women’s Equality Act in its entirety.
“People have hope and are asking their leaders and representatives to be responsible and ethical. I’m passionate about making our system work for everyone,” she said in a statement Sunday.
In recent weeks Farley has welcomed the potential challenges from Southworth and Thorne and predicted he will turn them aside.
He hasn’t faced a close re-election in recent memory. Thorne fell about 23,000 votes short in her first attempt to unseat him, in 2012.
But her last campaign was organized hastily in July, leaving her little time to build support in a massive district that stretches as far north as Hamilton County and as far west as Herkimer County. This year, she entered the race far earlier — something her supporters say will propel her to a victory in both the primary and general election.