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EDITORIAL: 107th: Tistrya Houghtling

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IN THE RACE FOR THE ASSEMBLY seat in the 107th District, New Lebanon Town Clerk Tistrya Houghtling on the ballot for the Democratic, Green, Working Families and Women’s Equality parties, is challenging Assemblyman Jake Ashby, who is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform Party lines. Mr. Ashby won his seat in a special election last spring.

The district includes northeastern Columbia County, the Towns of Austerlitz, Canaan, Chatham, Hillsdale, Kinderhook and New Lebanon. Voters in those towns add up to a small percentage of voters the whole 107th, which encompasses almost all of Rensselaer County and a bit of Washington County too. But if one candidate wins by a wide enough margin here, it could be the margin of victory.

If voters in this county and the rest of the district want to have an effective voice in the Assembly–and why wouldn’t we–the choice should be to elect Tistrya Houghtling.

Face facts: the Assembly is and will remain in the hands of Democrats from New York City and its suburbs. The district’s voice can come from the outside looking in on policies that will affect our lives and our wallets or we can have someone who will get the attention of the leaders and can help make the needs of upstate communities a priority.

Ms. Houghtling, 38, is from New Lebanon and graduated from New Lebanon High School. As town clerk she has demonstrated her commitment to making government records accessible to the public. As a part-time teacher, she knows the strains placed on teachers and taxpayers. She is looking to confront corruption where she sees it and fight for truly independent agencies to hold politicians, including those of her own party, accountable.

Somebody has to hold corporate polluters responsible for poisoning water supplies from sources like the Dewey Loeffel Landfill and to establish standards that can prevent crises like the Hoosick Falls contamination from happening here. Ms. Houghtling has the energy and vision to protect the resources that make this county and the whole district such a special place to live and work.

The Columbia Paper sent Assemblyman Ashby, 38, a combat veteran and now a physical therapist, an invitation to meet and discuss the issues he believes are important. We did not receive a response before deadline. He did provide information for a candidate profile published in this issue.

On November 6, voters in the 107th can pick a member of the Assembly with an independent spirit attuned to the issues we face. That person is Tistrya Houghtling.

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