Mass swearing-in of new lawmakers at State Capitol

Posted at: 12/28/2012 11:41 PM
By: Dan Levy

ALBANY - The political winds came blowing through the State Capitol Friday afternoon, sweeping in a new generation of Capital Region lawmakers, including an historic first for the city of Albany.

When Patricia Fahy took the oath of office, it marked the first time ever that a woman held Albany's assembly seat. The former Albany School Board president was sworn in by her predecessor, Jack McEneny.

"I am deeply aware of the history we are making today," Fahy said, "I could not e more proud to stand before you as the first woman to hold this Albany seat."

Fahy, a first generation American, whose parents entered the country through Ellis Island sixty years ago, told the overflow crowd in the assembly chamber, "I stand on the shoulders of generations of immigrants."

Fahy was one of four new faces sworn-in, along with John McDonald, Phil Steck, and Angelo Santabarbara to make up part of the Capital Region's new legislative delegation.

Santabarbara, a former Schenectady County legislator, now represents the 111th assembly district for Schenectady and Montgomery counties.

"As a lifelong resident of this area, I'm committed to helping our working families and I will continue to work with anyone to make that happen," Santabarbara stated, after being sworn in by Congressman Paul Tonko (D - Amsterdam).

Phil Steck is a lawyer from Colonie, and a long time Albany County legislator, who insists his view on issues are right in line with his constituents.

"I'm 110% pro choice and I'm strongly pro gun control," he said.

John McDonald has controlled Cohoes City Hall for 13 years, as mayor, and takes over the 108th assembly district seat from Ron Canestrari, who replaced Mike McNulty.

"I'm honored to be in that position," McDonald, a pharmacist, said, "I've got a great track record to follow and I'm going to build upon that."

Pat Fahy intends to build on the legacy of Jack McEneny in assembly district 109, promising to fight for stricter gun control, a hike in the minimum wage, women's reproductive rights, and equitable education funding.

"I dedicate these next two years to my children and yours, and to all the youth of this region and this state," she asserted.

In the state senate, another new face, and another women, Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione, who beat Roy McDonald (R - Wilton) in a Republican primary, now takes over McDonald's seat in the 43rd district.

"I will draw my inspiration from the strength, resolve, and the character of the people I serve," Marchione declared.

Neil Breslin, of Delmar, has already served 16 years in the senate, but says there's more work to be done.

"It's a tremendous burden for us as we go forward to make sure that we make this place a better society and that we make it something that we're all proud of," Breslin stated.

Noticeably missing was any swearing in for the senate seat in the 46th senate district. Even though George Amedore has been declared the winner by 37 votes, Cecelia Tkaczyk is appealing the judge's decision. Both sides are due back in court January 7th.

The Amedore camp told News Channel 13 that no one will be sworn in until the court battle is over.