PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County Treasurer Kimberly Davis says she will be running for the State Senate 45th District seat next year.
On Wednesday, Davis, 44, at first said she would talk about her candidacy at a kickoff event on Tuesday, June 11.
The 45th Senate District includes all of Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Warren counties and parts of St. Lawrence and Washington counties.
It has been served by Republican Betty Little of Queensbury since 2003.
Little, 78, won re-election last year against Democrat Emily Martz of Saranac Lake.
The incumbent said she has not decided yet if she will run again.
"I still like this job, and there is plenty of time to make this decision, and I will," Little said.
REGARDLESS OF PARTY
In a news release issued later in the day, Davis called for a new generation of North Country leaders to take the helm in Albany.
"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve the taxpayers of Clinton County as their treasurer," she said.
"It's time for new leadership that can do more for the residents of the North Country in the State Senate."
Davis said the community needs a representative in the majority that can communicate the different needs of Upstate and rural communities.
"My experience in banking and finance will be an asset during budget negotiations, bringing commonsense fiscal responsibility that will serve our communities who need the resources to thrive," she said.
Davis said she has been encouraged to run by supporters who believe her background and experience would make her the best state senator for the district.
"I intend to represent all of the 45th, not just one political party," she said.
"My supporters are political leaders and non-political citizens, and they know that I will make fair and balanced decisions regardless of which party is proposing a bill."
Davis has served as treasurer since Jan. 1, 2014.
Prior to that, she was a branch manager at Glens Falls National Bank in Plattsburgh.
She graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Plattsburgh with degrees in business and philosophy, and a minor in accounting.
She lives in Plattsburgh with her partner, Jerry Gagnier.
Little enjoyed being in the Senate Majority for most of her senate career, but Republicans fell from power after last November's election.
Prior to her time as senator, the district was represented by Plattsburgh Republican Ronald B. Stafford, from 1965 to 2003.
Stafford rose to the powerful rank of chairman of the Senate Finance Committee before retiring.
Little said she is focusing on serving her constituents and looks forward to the end of the legislative session on June 19 so she can spend more time in the district.
"That's the part I really like, being with constituents and talking to them and spending time with them," she said.
Little said she will not likely make a decision on running for re-election until either December or even January of next year.
"It's still so very early for next year's campaign cycle," she said.
Little said that being in the minority is not as pleasant as being in the majority, but there are still things she can do.
"We might not be able to get as much money for the district, but I can still advocate and do a lot of constituent work and work with agencies," she said.
TOO EARLY TO DECIDE
There has been speculation in North Country political circles that State Assemblyman Billy Jones, a Democrat from Chateaugay serving in the 115th District, could be a candidate for the 45th Senate District at some point.
Jones said Wednesday that it is too early to be thinking ahead to 2020.
"It's very, very early in the whole process of things, and I'm very busy in Albany and in the district, and I'm not really thinking about that just yet," he said.
"We do have a senator in place that is doing the job, and it's very early to even think about it."
Assemblyman Daniel Stec, a Republican from Queensbury in the 114th District, is also considered a possible senate candidate at some point.
"Of course I would consider it, but I am operating under the assumption that Betty is running again," Stec said.
Stec said Little has served her district well and continues to do so.
"I see it every day. She has not taken her foot off the gas at all," he said.
"I am impressed with her efforts, and it is a real testament to her passion for her job."
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