Tague wins 102nd Assembly seat

Chris Tague

Chris Tague

HILLTOWNS — Chris Tague, the Republican town supervisor of Schoharie, who said his private and public connections would help him enact change, has won a seat in the New York State Assembly to represent the 102nd District.

He earned a little over 8,500 votes, just 300 more than his Democratic opponent, Aidan O’Connor, who won the Albany County section of the district by fewer than 30 votes. Wes Laraway, running on his own party line, came in a distant third.

“I think we won and the voters have spoken … ,” said Tague late Tuesday night, as votes from the farther reaches of District 102 continued to come in. He credited both of his opponents for campaigning hard in what ended up being a close race between himself and O’Connor.

“Now it’s time to get into the real business of the people and get work done,” Tague said.

The special election was to fill the 102nd District seat after Peter Lopez, a Republican, resigned last September to serve as a regional administrator in the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

For over a decade, Lopez had represented the 102nd District, a swath of rural areas that includes all of Schoharie and Green counties, and parts of Albany, Columbia, Ulster, Delaware, and Otsego counties. In Albany County, it includes the towns of Coeymans, Rensselaerville, and Westerlo.

Tague told The Enterprise he would like to gather a team and reopen the district offices, and he would like to hear from the municipalities in the district about what issues need to be addressed. He noted that infrastructure, internet access, and the opioid epidemic are all concerns.

Tague is currently serving in his first term as supervisor and said he will resign to become an assemblyman. His town board will choose a successor shortly, he said. He had emphasized his ability to bring in new businesses to town, such as a feed processing plant and a gym, and said he would use his public and private sector connections to bring businesses to the area as a state assemblyman.

A former dairy farmer and currently a manager at a quarry, Tague also has worked part-time as an aid in the office of Rensselaer County Republican Steve McLaughlin. His political connections also included a friendship with Lopez, who Tague said encouraged him to run.

In addition to the Republican line, Tague also had the backing of the Conservative, Independence, and Reform parties and garnered 45.87 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the New York State Board of Elections.

Without the third-party votes, Tague would have lost to O’Connor, who had 7,110 Democratic votes compared to Tague’s 6,437 Republican votes. Tague received 1,563 from the Conservative Party, 457 from the Independence Party, and 90 from the Reform Party. O’Connor also received 814 votes from the Working Families Party and 335 from the Women’s Equality Party.

The opponents

O’Connor is a first-term Democrat and minority leader in the Greene County legislator. As a volunteer paramedic and manager at the medical air-transport company LifeNet, O’Connor has lobbied for laws to aid emergency responders and their patients.

He has also worked to battle the opioid epidemic with adding more medication and drop boxes in Durham, which he represents, and has also helped create a form that first responders can leave with those who’ve had an overdose to connect them to resources for treatment.

O’Connor received 44.32 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

Wes Laraway, a Republican, ran solely on his own party line, the Best Choice Party, saying that both the Republicans and the Democrats selected candidates behind closed doors and that he would not be subjected to their partisanship.

As a teacher, Laraway said that the state needs to develop more skill-based education paths for students who may not attend college. He also said he wanted term limits for assembly members and campaign finance reform.

He received 1,809 votes, or just under 10 percent of the total votes.

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