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To the left of it all

By Lombardo David
Friday, September 14, 2012

Robin Andrews is politically to the left of the other two candidates in the 43rd Senate District, but she's definitely in the middle of a very heated battle.

After a contentious Republican primary, which has yet to be resolved, between Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, and Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione, the only other major-party candidate is Democrat Robin Andrews. The married 50-year-old is a town supervisor in Columbia County, and she is ready to join the conversation of potential candidates for the seat.

The 43rd Senate District includes parts of Saratoga, Columbia, Washington and Rensselaer Counties.

Although she is facing an uphill battle in the district because of its heavy Republican enrollment advantage, Andrews thinks she can win. She notes that the town of Claverack, which she represents, is more conservative than the Senate district and went more than three decades without electing a Democrat until her.

Additionally, she acknowledged that a three-way race, with two Republicans, could help her by splitting the conservative vote.

For her part, though, Andrews just wants to get into the mix. ""I'm glad we can move past this point and have everybody included," she said.

A budget and planning consultant for some major companies, like ESPN, Andrews previously served as a village trustee. She ran for supervisor for the same reason she is running for Senate: because there is more good to be done.

In promoting her candidacy, she touted her ability to reach across the aisle and said she is focused on creating jobs, lowering taxes and helping the farming community in the district. She felt like the governor's efforts at mandate relief were a good start, but more work needs to be done.

On two hot-button issues potentially facing the Senate, an increase in the minimum wage and gun control, she is divided. Andrews supports an increase in the minimum wage if it is tied to some incentives for small business, and she opposes new gun control regulations, instead advocating for an easing of the current ones.

"I am a pro-Second-Amendment-right advocate," she said regarding the latter issue.

UPDATE (6:50 p.m., Sept. 15): A source steered me over to the Robin Andrews campaign website for a little fact in her biography that she didn't mention that potentially puts an interesting twist on this race.

While talking to Andrews, she said she was married and didn't have any kids. What she left out, and what her website fills in, is the fact that she is married to a woman.

To be fair, though, I didn't ask, and supporters of same-sex marriage rights would say it doesn't matter.

In 2011, after the legalization of same-sex marriage, Andrews married her partner of 15 years, Chris Lastovicka.

The campaign website bio also notes that "Robin also loves to sing."

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