WILLSBORO — Now retired, former State Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward is reflecting on the 10 years she spent representing the region in Albany.
She shut the door on her political career at the end of 2012, and her 113th District has been renumbered to the 114th; Daniel Stec (R-Queensbury) was elected to replace her and took the seat on Jan. 1.
Sayward was a dairy farmer with her husband, Kenneth, for 16 years, until 1988, when they sold their farm. She also worked as a real-estate agent, an antiques dealer and an interior decorator.
‘GO FOR IT’
She was elected Willsboro town supervisor in 1992, serving for 11 years before running for the State Assembly.
Sayward became a member of the Assembly in 2002, replacing Betty Little (R-Queensbury), who successfully ran for a State Senate seat.
“I knew Betty was looking to run for the Senate,” Sayward said. “I called her and said, ‘I’m going to run for your seat.’ She said, ‘Go for it.’
“It was a tumultuous campaign.”
In a six-way contest, Sayward triumphed with 52 percent of the vote.
There was a lot of hard work ahead of her, she said.
“The district was the largest in the state, almost 5,000 square miles. I got into every school, most businesses. I went to every pig roast and party I was invited to. That was important. You don’t know what people are thinking and what the issues are unless you get out and talk to them. I spent a lot of time on the road.”
She said she put more than 200,000 miles on the car she was driving when first elected and wore out two more
vehicles after that.
“I took good care of my cars because they had to run. I had to be on the road.”
Since Sayward was in the minority, she got a well-worn office for her first term, she said, and after several requests that her office be painted, she decided to take matters into her own hands.