Tkaczyk endorses fellow sheep farmer, Sara Niccoli, to run for Amedore’s seat

Former state senator Cecilia Tkaczyk is backing fellow Democrat and Town of Palatine supervisor Sara Niccoli to take on Sen. George Amedore for the 46th Senate District.

Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, lost against Sen. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, in 2014 in the  race for the 46th Senate District. The district includes parts of Ulster County, including Kingston, Woodstock Stone Ridge and Saugerties.

In a fundraising letter provided to the Times Herald-Record, Tkaczyk says she’s not planning on running again. But she endorses Niccoli, a fellow sheep farmer.  In the letter she attempts to connect Amedore with corruption investigations that brought down the leaders of both the state Senate and Assembly last year.

Here’s an excerpt:

Since the last election, we have seen the most corrupt Legislature in our history. The Leaders of the Assembly and Senate, including former Republican Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous and former Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos were indicted by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and found guilty on charges of corruption, bribery and lying to federal agents. These are the same people who carved out and added a new Senate District for their friend George Amedore.

It is incredible that George Amedore’s campaign committee continues to be funded by New York City billionaires embroiled in the middle of these corruption scandals.

Niccoli, who was also head of the executive director of the New York Labor-Religion Coalition, hasn’t officially announced a run yet but has been gearing up for months. In the letter Tkaczyk asks people to donate between $10 and $100 to her campaign.

Amedore won 48,060-37,900 in an unofficial result in 2014. Tkaczyk took only Ulster County in the five counties of the 46th that stretch up to Albany. The race was also record-setting in the amount of money spent.

Political Action Committees and the candidates’ campaign committees poured money into the races, believing that the outcome could impact the balance of power in the 63-member Senate. An estimated $5 million was spent on both candidates.

Among the big spenders were real-estate interests, which spent more than $1 million to campaign for Amedore. Meanwhile, the state’s largest teachers’ union, New York State United Teachers, spent about $600,000 towards Tkacyk’s campaign, according to New York Public Interest Research Group.


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