Voters will have the opportunity Tuesday to choose between Democrat Angelo Santabarbara or Republican Thomas Quackenbush for the 111th Assembly District seat being vacated by George Amedore, who is running for the state Senate.
Both men are serving in local public office and therefore have a feel for the problems facing the communities. While both are concerned about making the state more business-friendly, we like the specificity of Santabarbara's plan for creating new jobs, and we are impressed with his efforts as a Schenectady County legislator during Schenectady's revitalization. Therefore, we endorse Santabarbara for the Assembly.
Santabarbara, who lives in Rotterdam and continues to serve on his county's legislature, is a professional engineer. He's been endorsed by six unions.
He offers a five-point jobs plan: tax cuts for businesses that hire new or unemployed workers; encouragement of private energy companies and government to make the region the hub for new energy jobs; tax incentives for farmers to meet the demands for yogurt production and raising new types of crops; marketing the Florida Business Park, which includes the Beech-Nut baby food plant and Target distribution center, as a food-processing and packaging cluster; and establishing a back-to-work program to retrain laid-off and unemployed workers.
Quackenbush is supervisor of Minden and a member of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. He's also a business agent for Teamsters Local 294. He opposes unfunded state mandates and supports an increase in the minimum wage if coupled with tax credits for small business. He supports tax reduction and lower government spending, although taxes have not decreased in Montgomery County during his tenure.
Both men want to see the creation of jobs and an economic recovery, but Santabarbara would be the stronger legislator to bring the state closer to those goals.