ALBANY (AP) - Former Republican Assemblyman George Amedore said Monday he is running again for the state Senate seat he narrowly lost two years ago.
Amedore announced his run from a pizza shop in Catskill. He is challenging Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, the Democrat who beat him by 18 votes in 2012 after a drawn-out battle for the new district.
"For the last two years, we have not had someone in this Senate district who represents our interests or shares our values fighting for the things that matter most," Amedore, a homebuilder, said. "That is going to change."
The 46th Senate District includes Montgomery County. During redistricting based on the 2010 census, Republicans drew the district in a way they hoped would help them keep control of the chamber.
Tkaczyk is a former school board vice president from Duanesburg. She won the seat after a court-ordered count of additional ballots. A judge had initially ruled that Amedore had won by 37 of the roughly 126,000 votes cast and a mid-level court ruled that 99 challenged ballots should be counted.
The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and pro-abortion rights activists wasted no time slamming the Republican challenger, claiming his views on women's rights issues are "extreme" and "anti-women."
"I'm not an extremist," Amedore responded. "And to suggest so is disrespectful to my wife, daughter, mother and to all women."
The race between Amedore and Tkaczyk is expected to be one of most closely watched this year as Republicans hope to bolster their numbers in the Senate and Democrats try to regain control of the chamber.
The Republicans currently control the Senate with a group of five breakaway Democrats.
After Amedore's announcement, Tkaczyk said she is currently focused on the work of the Legislature.
"There will be a time for campaigning," she said.