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Plan creates new Senate district

Farley would lose Montgomery County

January 26, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

ALBANY - A proposed redrawing of state Senate district boundaries would create another area Senate seat and cause Republican Sen. Hugh T. Farley to lose his representation of Montgomery County.

The changes also would give Republican Assemblyman George Amedore an opportunity to run for the new Senate seat, Amedore said Wednesday.

The state Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment this afternoon was expected to publicly release proposed redistricting maps.

"It affects me a lot," Farley, R-Niskayuna, said Wednesday of the potential reapportionment.

The state Legislature majorities are required by state and federal laws to redraw districts every 10 years based on census data to keep similar communities together and to make sure racial minorities have a voice in the Legislature.

Republicans have defended adding a 63rd seat as a way to avoid a potential 31-31 tie in the chamber, where 32 votes are needed to pass legislation. Republicans hold a 32-30 majority and usually vote as a bloc. The Assembly's Democratic majority is 95-51.

The task force redistricting maps are subject to public hearings.

Farley said the proposal creates a 63rd Senatorial District that would include all of Montgomery County. That county currently is represented by the 44th Senatorial District, and Farley holds the seat.

"I'm not happy about losing Montgomery County," Farley said Wednesday.

The new 63rd Senatorial District also would include the towns of Duanesburg, Princetown and Rotterdam in Schenectady County and parts of rural Albany County. It would take in all of Greene and Ulster counties, Amedore said. The proposed district would split what is traditionally a Democratic stronghold in the Capital District.

Farley's 44th district currently represents Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. He said his Senate district would be reapportioned into a much larger area from a geographical standpoint.

"I haven't seen the final drawings," Farley said. "I will have a very large district."

He said his district would retain Fulton County and gain Hamilton and Herkimer counties. He said he would be happy to represent Indian Lake in Hamilton County, where he grew up.

"The district I'm getting would be one of the largest in New York state," Farley said. "It's an area I'm familiar with."

Farley, as well as other state legislators in the Senate and Assembly, are up for re-election in 2012. They include Amedore, R-Rotterdam.

"I'm certainly interested in looking at the new Senate district for me as a candidate," Amedore said.

Farley said Amedore would make an "excellent choice" for senator.

Amedore said he has "always been interested" in a Senate seat, including the 44th District seat that Farley occupies.

"My thoughts have always been how can I be most effective for the people I serve in the state Legislature," he said.

Amedore's current 105th Assembly District includes all of Montgomery County and parts of Schenectady County, such as Duanesburg, Princetown and Rotterdam, and part of the city of Schenectady.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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