Updated 09/12/2012 09:16 AM
McDonald and Marchione participate in debate
Republicans running for the 43rd State Senate seat face off in a debate at Russell Sage College. Kathy Marchione is challenging the two term Senator Roy McDonald in the party's primary. Innae Park has more.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
TROY, N.Y. – A standing ovation. Attendees interrupting candidates in mid-sentence. The debate between State Senator Roy McDonald and challenger Kathy Marchione became less about the issues and more about mudslinging.
First, whether Marchione’s filing for retirement from the position of Saratoga County Clerk was to intentionally “double dip” in salary. Her response: “I could’ve retired three years ago myself, but I’m not really interested in leaving my job, but I made a commitment to the Republican party, and I believe when you make a commitment, you stay true to your word.”
Marchione is referencing a decision to step down and retire so that a special election can be held to fill her seat, rather than having the position be appointed if she is elected, which could change which party has control over the clerk’s role.
When it came to McDonald, the main barb was over how he voted for same sex marriage.
“Let people live their own lives with dignity, no matter who they are,” said McDonald, defending his vote to pass the marriage equality bill. “Not being dogmatic, not being tyrannical, being respectful was the way I was raised.”
Then the question arose: How important was such a vote on social issues?
Marchione said, "You just can't take them and put them over in a box. They are important. Traditional marriage is important. Abortion is important. People care about those issues."
"This is a Republican principle: Independence. Be your own person. And that's what my campaign is about and that's what I've done. I've run several positive campaigns and I've never seen anything go south so quickly," McDonald said.
When it came to other economic issues, both did not want to increase legislators’ pay or minimum wage. They were both against member item spending and for ensuring a strong future for NYRA.
Where they differed was how to build business climate, with McDonald touting the impact of GlobalFoundries and its willingness to grow in New York state, but Marchione saying the marketplace was unwelcome to new businesses.
Despite the anger, both managed to remember who their opponent really was and where they might be in the future.
When asked to say something nice about her opponent, Marchione said, “I think he was a tremendous town supervisor. I think he puts his family first.”
“My opponent loves her community and loves her family. That’s very important to me,” said McDonald. As for the future, following this campaign, he added, “My opponent and I will be friends, because that’s the way it should be.”
McDonald is endorsed by the Independence Party and will appear on their line in November. Marchione is being challenged in the Conservative Party primary by Ed Gilbert.
Primaries are on Thursday.