Rudy Johnson knows many people have lost faith in state government.
The Democrat and candidate for the 114th Assembly District thinks they have good reason to be cynical.
"With the constant infighting about budgets and earmarks and special interests, Albany could not be more distant from the needs of the North Country," said the Malone resident.
On Thursday, the consultant and former small-business owner stopped by the Clinton County Government Center in Plattsburgh to announce his candidacy.
"Today, we are worried about our jobs and our futures, and Albany seems to only be interested in itself, in committees and careers and re-election campaigns."
The 114th Assembly District includes Clinton and Franklin counties and the Town of St. Armand in Essex County. It is currently served by Republican Janet Duprey.
DEMS IN CHARGE
"Quite frankly, the Democrats are in the majority across the board, and it is not working real well," Duprey said in response from her office in Albany.
Her time is consumed by sessions, with little time for campaigning, she said.
"We need to finalize the state budget and deal with some important legislation."
But Duprey said her constituents' concerns remain her focus, and she agrees Albany is broken.
She is eager to continue to run the 114th District.
Johnson has been endorsed by the Franklin and Clinton County Democratic committees and has been a North Country resident since 1989.
He lives with his wife, Kaye, a retired teacher's assistant, and their youngest son, Rudy II.
Johnson worked as an energy analyst out of the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Malone, traveling to farms and businesses throughout the region to help people save money through energy conservation.
"It was during this period that I learned the significance of dairy farms and how these family farms make up a very important part of our culture," Johnson said.
FOCUS ON JOBS
His main priority is economic growth and job creation in the region.
He's witnessed significant job losses in agriculture and manufacturing over the years, as well as a basic lack of economic growth.
"The new economy will be made up of high-tech industries and green initiatives," Johnson said. "The district needs leadership that will move us into the future.
"We must take action to foster economic growth in the region. This will include increased support in training for the trades and expanding the curriculum of our community colleges to include courses in growing fields."
READY TO FIGHT
He said workers, farmers, businessmen and families need representatives who will fight for their interests and understand the potential of the North Country and determination of its people.
The ability to listen to the concerns of the people of the North Country and respond to them is fundamental to serving in the Assembly, he said.
"I would like to be that representative, that advocate for our communities and that problem solver who will bring fresh, practical ideas to Albany."
Johnson pointed out there are 150 Assembly members in Albany, each with one vote, and it's easy to believe "our one small vote is insignificant.
"But behind our one small vote, we can still have a loud, strong voice. I want to provide that loud, strong voice for the North Country."
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