The Race is On!

On Wednesday Governor Spitzer will give his state of the state. The speech promises to lay-out a bold agenda rooted in bedrock Democratic values: ensuring that every child has access to health care, expanding opportunity by renewing the promise of New York’s state colleges and universities, investing in affordable housing and extending a helping hand to families caught in the undertow of the subprime mortgage crisis.

But the Governor can’t do it alone.

As we saw last year, it’s critical that we send legislators to Albany that share our values and that will work with – not obstruct – Eliot Spitzer in advancing the Democratic agenda.

Assemblymember Darrel Aubertine

Very soon we’ll have a chance to send another legislator who shares our values to Albany.

That’s because on Saturday, Assemblymember Darrel Aubertine joined hundreds of supporters in Oswego, Watertown and Canton to announce his candidacy for the New York State Senate seat left open by the resignation of Republican Senator Jim Wright.

A date for a special election could be called any day now. A victory by Darrel would be the sixth State Senate seat picked up by a Democrat since 2004 – narrowing the Republican margin to just one seat.

While the 48th Senate District has historically been held by Republicans, Darrel is the right candidate at the right time to bring it in to the Democratic column.

A full-time dairy farmer for thirty years, Darrel was elected to the State Assembly in 2002 and has distinguished himself for his work on behalf of rural families and upstate economic development.

In the Assembly, Darrel sponsored legislation that expanded Child Health Plus for rural families and secured crucial funds for North Country’s premier children’s health clinic. This past December, Darrel played a key role in saving the jobs of 900 families at the Alcoa plant in St. Lawrence County.

Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Eliot Spitzer won commanding majorities in the 48th District and momentum is on our side.

While our eyes are glued to the presidential campaign, we hope the Governor’s speech will remind all of us how important it is that Democrats across New York get involved in the fight to finally elect a Democratic majority in the New York State Senate.

I hope this week that the blog can be a forum to discuss the State-of-the-State, the campaign in the 48th Senate District and how we can get moving again in Albany.

Happy New Hampshire Primary Day and let the conversation begin.

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