Candidate enters race to take on Metzger in 2020 (updated)

The former owner of a local school-bus company plans to challenge state Sen. Jen Metzger for the 42nd Senate District seat next year.

Mike Martucci of Wawayanda opened a campaign fundraising committee for the seat on Thursday. He’s not enrolled in either political party, but presumably would run as a Republican against Metzger, a Rosendale Democrat who’s serving her first Senate term. (Update: Martucci, previously an unaffiliated voter, enrolled as a Republican in January, Orange County voting records show.)

Martucci, 34, founded Quality Bus Services in 2008 and built it from a single bus serving Greenwood Lake School District to a company with 500 employees and 350 buses, according to an online biography. He sold the business last year.

Metzger, a former Rosendale councilwoman and director of the nonprofit Citizens for Local Power, beat Orange County Clerk Annie Rabbitt a year ago to win a seat that Republican John Bonacic held for the 20 years until his retirement in 2018. The 42nd District takes in all of Sullivan County and parts of Orange, Ulster and Delaware counties.

Metzger’s campaign noticed the Martucci’s filing and emailed supporters for contributions on Friday morning, warning that Republicans will spend big to try to win back the Senate control they lost in 2018. The message noted that Metzger doesn’t accept “corporate or lobbyist money,” and relies on donations from “good people like you.”

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