Two Democrats eyeing Farley’s seat

49TH SENATE DISTRICT — Two Democrats looking to unseat longtime state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, announced they collected enough signatures to be on the ballot in the race for the 49th District seat.

Madelyn Thorne of Schenectady and former Ballston town Supervisor Patti Southworth said they received thousands of signatures throughout the region to challenge Farley, who is the senior-most member of the Senate.

Thorne said in a news release she collected nearly 2,500 signatures, including more than 60 from Working Families Party members. Southworth said she received more than 1,500 signatures to appear on the ballot Sept. 9 in the state primary election.

The district, which was redrawn in 2012, includes eastern Schenectady County, western Saratoga County, Hamilton County, Fulton County and the northern two-thirds of Herkimer County.

“I’m very excited to be officially joining the state Senate race, and this is a great achievement for the campaign,” Thorne said in her statement. “I look forward to the next phase of campaigning by continuing to meet the voters throughout the 49th Senate District.”

Thorne is challenging Farley for a second time, after losing the race in 2012 by 23,000 votes. She has received party endorsements from two of the five counties in the 49th District.

“I have demonstrated that I work for the people, regardless of political affiliation, and believe in complete transparency,” Southworth said in a statement. “I want to bring solutions, not platitudes, for the residents of the 49th, which is why I have been traveling the length of the district to meet people and their businesses since the beginning of the year.”

Farley has held the seat since 1976, winning 19 consecutive elections. He will turn 82 in November.

This story was originally published in The Daily Gazette.