After a near 40-year career in public office, State Senator Kathy Marchione announced Wednesday she will not seek re-election in November. Our Matt Hunter has more from the Senator and local party leaders who are working to find her replacement.
SARATOGA COUNTY, N.Y. – Approaching six years after she was first elected, Kathy Marchione announced Wednesday her career in the State Senate will come to a close at the end of this year.
“It was a tough decision for me too. I really gave it a lot of thought," Marchione said Thursday. "I’ve been very blessed to have all of these opportunities but it is time, I have four beautiful grandchildren I want to spend more time with.”
Before representing the 43rd Senate District, the Republican served for more than three decades as Halfmoon Town Supervisor and later Saratoga County Clerk.
"Not to sound cliché, but if you were to look in the dictionary and look up ‘public servant,’ that is Kathy Marchione," Saratoga County Republican Committee Chairman Carl Zeilman said.
Referring to Marchione as a friend and mentor, Zeilman said her decision to step down came as a surprise. As of Thursday, he says no clear cut candidate to replace her has emerged.
"It is somebody that we don’t want to see leave public service," he said, "but we want to emulate what she has done going forward and we want to find candidates that will follow in her footsteps."
"At this point, not a big surprise with the special elections and the way things are heading in D.C. and the Senate in New York," Saratoga County Democratic Committee Chairman Todd Kerner said.
Kerner was less complimentary of Marchione's record. He expects his party to announce a candidate shortly.
"What we really need, and what I think people want, is someone who's going to spend their time finding solutions rather than be a rallying cry for an extreme agenda," he said.
Since President Donald Trump took office, a number of Democratic candidates have prevailed in historically Republican districts across the country and state. Marchione insists the threat of losing her seat in the so-called "blue wave" had no bearing on her decision to not seek another term.
“Oh no, not at all,” Marchione said. “I have been in this for 39 years, and if people don’t know much about me, number one, I am extremely honest; and number two, I am a fighter."
After attending a public event Thursday, Marchione said she can't entirely rule out running for public office again in the future.
"I am going to miss it, but I am really looking forward, as I said, to my new beginning,” she said.