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The Legislative Gazette

September 21, 2010

Page 5

Gazette photo by Aaron Dorman

Photo courtesy of Bob Domenici

Senator Neil Breslin, left, meets with supporters in Albany the night before last week’s Democratic primary. He will now face Republican Bob Domenici, right, who serves guests pasta during a luncheon at the Elks Lodge in Guilderland last week. Breslin cites his experience as a reformer and separates himself from Albany’s dysfunction.

Breslin opponents like their chances T

By AARON DORMAN Gazette staff writer

he Conservative and independent candidates for New York’s 46th Senate District in Albany County are

depicting last week’s Democratic primary results as a call for change and a good sign for their campaigns to unseat incumbent Neil D. Breslin. Meanwhile, Breslin, D-Bethlehem, who

is seeking an eighth term in the Senate, said he agrees there is a strong anti-incumbent movement in New York this year, but said he has valuable experience as both a legislator and as a reformer. “I was surprised that I had as good a

margin as I did,” Breslin said of his win in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary. “We knew there would be an extremely low turnout, and it’s usually the ones who are most combative who come out. We had to overcome that, and we were able to do that.” According to The Associated Press,

Breslin defeated challenger Luke Martland with 58 percent of the vote to Martland’s 42 percent. The vote count was still unofficial as of press time. Breslin said he expected Martland’s

endorsement and that he was confident the Democrats would come together to support him. On the day after the Democratic primary,

Bob Domenici, the Republican Party nominee for the 46th and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, said, “We were very surprised. Never did we think that Martland would pull out almost 45 percent. What last night showed was that from [Senate Majority Leader Pedro] Espada to [Carl] Paladino, New Yorkers want change. The Democrats told Neil Breslin that we don’t want you any more.” Espada lost a Democratic primary in

his Bronx Senate district, and Paladino successfully challenged the Republican Party’s endorsed candidate for governor to take the GOP line this November. Local businessman and government

reformer Michael Carey, who created a Reform Party line in the race for the 46th Senate District, expressed similar excitement at the results. “I do think it was

Gazette file photos

Independent candidate for the 46th Senate District Michael Carey, left, is challenging Sen. Neil Breslin in November. Luke Martland, right, lost to Breslin in last week’s Democratic primary.

quite an eye opener,” Carey said. “The last poll showed that 55 percent of registered voters wanted to throw the incumbents out because they’re not doing a good job. I believe Luke Martland got that message out pretty well. I think he got an extremely high percentage.” Both Domenici and Carey call themselves independent voices against the Democratic

he was running on the Republican and Conservative Party lines because those parties were the first to approach him. Bryan Best, a volunteer for Dominici’s

campaign, said, “I support him because he is not a career politician. Neil Breslin’s whole family is well into Albany politics, so it would be nice to have someone else.” Breslin’s brothers hold the positions of

You can’t get rid of everyone just because of a few bad apples.

— Matthew Peter, president of the Albany Young Democrats, Sen. Neil Breslin supporter

establishment to which they argue Breslin is attached. Domenici, whose campaign held a pasta

lunch at the Elks Lodge in Guilderland the day before the primary, said he considers himself a representative of the people, not just Republicans or Democrats. At the luncheon, he said he would have run as either a Democrat or Republican and that

Albany county executive and county judge. Carey said he was the only truly independent

candidate for the office. Although he initially tried to run as a candidate on the Republican and Conservative Party tickets, he said his strong record as a supporter of humanitarian and social programs could help appeal to Democratic voters. Carey was heavily involved in the passing

of Jonathan’s Law, which gives parents and legal guardians of disabled children under the state’s supervision access to incident reports and investigative records of abuse that were previously “sealed” and kept confidential. The law is named after Carey’s son who was killed in 2007 by a caregiver from the O.D. Heck Developmental Center. Domenici said, “He [Breslin] has no political backbone, and he has demonstrated that. He is nothing but a career politician looking to save his job. For him, the whole election was about saving his seat. Not one person who we have spoken to can tell us one piece of legislation Breslin has done for us.” Domenici said he was not impressed with

Breslin’s attempt to disassociate himself from some of the more unpopular politicians in New York’s government such as Espada and accused the incumbent of “waffling” on the issue. “He’s been there 15 years and he voted for Espada to be in the position that he was,” Domenici said. Breslin’s office maintains that Espada’s

appointment to senate majority leader last summer was never put to a vote in the Democratic Conference. Domenici said “He [Breslin] has been in

that leadership and that development. How could you not put him in there? And I never saw a resolution to throw Espada out.” Following the resolution of a Senate coup

in the summer of 2009 that Espada played a key roll in by siding with Republicans, he was named majority leader by the Democratic conference. Breslin did not agree with the accusation

that he was involved with New York government’s dysfunction. “Look at my record,” Breslin said. “I am one of the first to speak out against Pedro Espada, and [Sen. Hiram] Monserrate, and now neither one of them are in the Senate. Monserrate was expelled from the Senate following a misdemeanor conviction for roughing up his girlfriend. “I have been one of the leaders of reform

over the last 10 years. I will continue to push for reforms in insurance and health care which will make the lives of my

See Opponents on page 8

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