Reidy launches run for 109th, promising a ‘progressive policy vision’

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

“We must lift up our most disadvantaged, level the playing field, strengthen the working and the middle classes,” says Dustin Reidy on Wednesday morning, launching his campaign to represent District 109 in the New York State Assembly.

Democrat Dustin Reidy launched his run for the 109th State Assembly District on Wednesday morning in the midst of union supporters.

“Let’s give it up for labor,” said Maurice Brown who introduced Reidy to the crowd at the SEIU1199 headquarters on Washington Avenue. Brown is the political coordinator for the United Health Care Workers East for the Service Employees International Union.

Reidy has “been there for our members,” said Brown “speaking to bad bosses … standing up for working people.”

Reidy, for his part, stressed his career start in health care “that drove me to get more involved in public service.”

After graduating from Skidmore College, he was an administrator and vascular tech for a private surgery company practice at Albany Medical Center, he said.

“Every day,” he said, “I saw top-of-the-world care — lifesaving procedures that patients with good health insurance received to improve and save their lives.”

He went on, “I also saw the disparities in care for patients that lacked health care or did not have good health-care coverage.”

Reidy said he worked with licensed practical nurses, nurses, and tech staff who “poured their heart and their talents into caring for patients while they struggled to make ends meet for themselves in jobs that paid far too little and were not union organized — I knew I had to get involved and make a change.”

He is running for the seat now held by Patricia Fahy, representing Albany, New Scotland, and parts of Guilderland. Fahy is running to replace longtime state Senator Neil Breslin, who is retiring from that post after more than a quarter century. Both Fahy and Breslin are Democrats.

The field was crowded in 2012 when Fahy made her first foray into local politics after the longtime assemblyman representing the 109th District, Democrat Jack McEneny, stepped down.

With a grassroots campaign, Fahy easily bested her five opponents in the 2012 Democratic primary, winning 37 percent of the vote in the Democrat-dominated district before easily winning her seat every two years since.

The field is crowded again with Fahy’s exit; five other candidates — all from Albany — are seeking to run in the June 25 Democratic primary.

Reidy, who is serving his second term as an Albany County legislator representing the part of Guilderland where he lives, also chairs the Guilderland Democratic Committee.

He told the crowd on Wednesday morning that he got his start in politics campaigning for Barack Obama, which began his “career in grassroots advocacy, supporting progressive causes and Democratic candidates.”

During his time in the county legislature, Reidy said, he was “proud to introduce legislation to fight climate change and to support small businesses.” He is “especially proud to have introduced and passed three different pieces of legislation to fight the epidemic of gun violence.”

For the past four years, Reidy has been Congressman Paul Tonko’s campaign manager. “I’m a Paul Tonko Democrat,” he told the crowd.

“I’m running with a progressive policy vision and an energetic approach to bring every voice to the table …,” said Reidy. “I’ll fight climate change and expand health-care access while reducing health-care costs.

“I will stand firm on women having the full range of reproductive health-care rights, including abortion,” he went on, to applause. “I will stand with and march with our LGBTGI+ communities to make sure their rights and lives are protected.”

And, to more applause, he said, “I will always fight for workers, protect the right to organize and create more good union jobs. I come from a union family ….”

Reidy said he would continue to work on Fahy’s “signature issues — transforming 787 and reimagining the Harriman campus.”

He concluded, “We must lift up our most disadvantaged, level the playing field, strengthen the working and the middle classes. I’m planning to do just that, and I will be that strong Democratic voice for the entire district,” ensuring that everyone “will have the opportunity to achieve their own American dream ….

“Let’s get to work.”

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