Candidates with ties to Putnam County discussed a range of issues important to constituents at a recent debate.
The event—held at the Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association in Southeast, and co-hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce—featured hopefuls running for the Putnam County Legislature, as well as New York State Assembly and New York State Legislature. Moderator Bruce Apar of Chase Media Group read questions that audience members submitted. Each candidate had 90 seconds to respond.
Here are snippets (in the order they answered) of responses from 40th State Senate District candidates Greg Ball, the Republican incumbent, and Justin Wagner, the Democratic pick:
Opening statementsWagner Ball
- We need to fundamentally rebuild our middle class, right here in New York. We also need to restore integrity in Albany.
- I've been talking to voters throughout the Hudson Valley, and they've told me one thing: They're sick and tired of political extremism. They want common sense solutions to the problems facing middle class families.
- We need to invest in infrastructure—our bridges, our roads, our schools are crumbling, we can put people back to worth right away.
- I don't just want to cap property taxes, I want to reduce them by lifting mandates that are crushing local governments.
- I want to reform campaign finance because too much money and special interest still rules the day in Albany.
- I will fight for women's issues. I want to keep New York a pro-choice state and I'm committed to doing that.
- It's easy every two years to make promises as a pledge for candidate. The four years in the assembly, two years as your state senator, I've got to tell you, the previous two years have been exceptional.
- We have a governor who's a real leader, working with our majority in the State Senate. You talk about effective bipartisan leadership ... You'll remember me as that fire-breathing dragon who wanted to reform Albany. I never thought Albany would be an example for anybody or anything. If you look at Washington, DC, you talk about political extremism.
- The things that we've accomplished working with this Democratic governor—property tax cap, MTA payroll tax repeal, two balanced budgets, biggest middle class tax cut in years, the lowest middle class tax rate in nearly three generations—we've partnered with Gov. Cuomo. We have not used Washington, DC as a model and we have become that great state, the Empire State.
- There's a lot of work that still needs to be done, but I've got to tell you, for a guy who's very pessimistic, it's been a pleasure to be your senator.