Voting for individuals to represent us in our government is a serious and important part of our lives in this country. Even though we may see on television many of these people who are willing to represent us, I find it especially meaningful when I get a chance to meet those campaigning in person. I wish more of us could do that.
I've been very impressed with three of those brave, strong citizens with whom I have talked at local gatherings. It was a pleasure to see that U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko - who has represented us so well in Washington, but due to redistricting cannot represent the Glove Cities in the future - is working with U.S. Rep. Bill Owens to introduce him to us. Owens has represented part of Fulton County, but due to redistricting is now competing to represent all of it. He is an Air Force veteran and has been a businessman, helping to create "over 2,000 jobs" in the North Country. He is as approachable and reasonable as Tonko and therefore wins my vote.
At another gathering, Madelyn Thorne from Schenectady, a first time candidate, is running for the state senate and spoke meaningfully to the whole group about growing up with a strong work ethic in a blue-collar family and then working herself while raising her child. In other words, she understands the struggles and need for thrift and care that families go through. She was very approachable, positive and interactive in responding to questions. I liked her personal way of sharing and explaining her views.
The third person who was impressive to me was Schenectady County Family Court Judge Christine M. Clark, who is a candidate for New York State Supreme Court Fourth Judicial District seat, which includes Fulton County. She has come up through the judicial system so has had a good variety of pertinent experience since 2005 in City Court, Family Court and as acting judge in both County Court and Supreme Court. In her conversations with groups and individuals, she shows a natural understanding and balance of thoughtfulness to which good judges should aspire. Her willingness to hear all questions and engage in creative discussions makes it a pleasure to talk to her.
I hope more people will have a chance to interact thoughtfully with candidates before the coming election and then, or course, then get out and vote.
MARCIA R. WINN