111th Assembly District race down to the wire

Posted at: 11/05/2012 12:19 AM
Updated at: 11/05/2012 12:24 AM
By: Dan Levy

AMSTERDAM - The final weekend of the 2012 campaign season is history, and one of two local men will make history Tuesday night, becoming the first person elected to fill the newly redistricted 111th State Assembly seat.

 The campaign between Angelo Santabarbara and Tom Quackenbush has, at times, been sprinkled with (what some people might consider) negative words. Sunday night, neither candidate was at a loss for words, and neither was at a loss for confidence as to why they thought they'd win on Tuesday night.

Just like the short list of menu items at the spaghetti dinner he was attending Sunday night, Angelo Santabarbara says there's also a relatively short list of issues that are important to people he meets.

"Jobs and taxes are two issues that I hear most at the door," Santabarbara says.

Santabarbara, a democrat, a first generation American, and currently a Schenectady County legislator, says the preference is for the jobs to be home grown.

"People want to go back to work," he says, "People want local jobs. There's a lot of people, especially in Montgomery County, who have to travel quite a ways to go to work and they want to see local jobs."

"What I'm hearing all over the place is property tax relief and how to we get that? It's through mandate relief," says Tom Quackenbush, "They can't take any more."

Quackenbuch, a republican, the Minden town supervisor, and business agent for Teamsters Local 294, says he's quite sure people in his community know what he's done for them during his 17 years in public service.

"I've been in the trenches fighting for people as a mayor (of Fort Plain), as a supervisor, and as their county chairman, during our darkest hours, when we had our flooding," he says.

Speaking of flooding, Quackenbush (and others) think television airwaves have been flooded with negative campaign ads at his expense.

"I have confidence in the people that when their integrity is tested through negative campaigning, they see through that," he opines.

When asked how he would characterize the nature of the campaign, Santabarbara said, "We've been running a campaign based on our record."

Both candidates have a record of public service, and both feel they're destined to wind up in Albany.

"I'm willing to take the next step," Quackenbush said, "And if the people of the 111th are willing to have Tom Quackenbush put the gloves on, get in the ring, and be a fighter, I'm willing to do it."

"There's a lot of things that go through your mind a couple of days before the election," Santabarbara says, "But I feel good and I feel confident."

Santabarbara lost to George Amedore two years ago in his first run for the assembly. The newly drawn 111th district covers portions of Schenectady and Montgomery counties.