UTICA, N.Y. -- When asked why they decided to run for office, this is what the 119th Assembly District candidates said:
"I want changes. I want changes for my granddaughter. She's what, 21 months now, and the sun rises and sets with her," said Republican Dennis Bova.
"I have spent most of my career working with individuals and creating partnerships, and this just seemed like the next step," said Democrat Marianne Buttenschon.
Dennis Bova of Utica and Marianne Buttenschon of Marcy both want your vote next month.
Bova is a surgical technician who wants to fix what he calls a corrupt political system.
Marianne Buttenschon works at Mohawk Valley Community College as Dean of the Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Public Service.
She emphasizes the importance of education.
Both feel strongly about having safer schools.
"I think more resource officers would be great in schools, more of a presence," Bova said. "I think we have to sit down and talk with our kids more. I don't think the teachers have enough time to do that."
Bova would push for grants for those School Resource Officers.
Buttenschon has a different approach.
"The problems sometimes we have with grants is that we have to ensure that the resources are there to continue. So if we could bring everyone together initially and make sure that that funding is there for our schools, then I think that that would be an avenue that I'd like to explore," Buttenschon said.
A controversial topic in the Mohawk Valley is the proposed downtown Utica Hospital.
Bova doesn't think that's the best location for it, Buttenschon pointed out that it was in the works before this race.
"I think it's something that we need to continue to look at," she said. "I understand there's problems with transparency, communication, and the planning."
When it comes to using eminent domain to acquire properties in the Downtown Utica hospital blueprint, Buttenschon said that should only be used as a last resort. Bova isn't for it.
"I don't think we have the right to take property from somebody that's paying our taxes, that's paying our bills," he said. "Our motto of our country is 'Come here, work hard and flourish'."
They both would like to see more research be done.
The 119th Assembly District seat is currently held by Anthony Brindisi.
He's challenging incumbent Republican Claudia Tenney for the 22nd Congressional District seat.