Lopez unopposed in the 102nd, while Vroman challenges Santabarbara in the 111th

Peter Lopez

HILLTOWNS — Residents of Westerlo and Rensselaerville will find just one name on the ballot this November to represent them in the State Assembly. Republican incumbent Peter D. Lopez is running unopposed in the 102nd District.  Lopez has been an Assemblyman for 10 years. In addition to having GOP backing, he is also running on the Conservative, Independence, and Reform party lines.

Residents of Berne and Knox will have a choice between Democratic incumbent Angelo L. Santabarbara and Republican challenger Peter A. Vroman in the 111th District.

The race is a rematch from two years ago, when Santabarbara won a second two-year term in a close race with Vroman.

In addition to being backed by the Democrats, Santabarbara has the Working Families, Independence, and Women’s Equality party lines. Vroman, in addition to having the GOP line has the support of the Conservative and Reform parties.

After the 2010 federal census, the Assembly lines were redrawn and the Hilltowns were split and appended to two other districts. Formerly, the rural Helderberg towns had been grouped together with suburban Guilderland and New Scotland and part of the city of Albay — all in Albany County.

With the current configuration, Lopez, in the 102nd District, represents three Albany County towns — Rensselaerville, Westerlo, and Coeymans — as well as all of Schoharie and Greene counties and parts of Otsego and Delaware counties.

The 111th District includes all of Montgomery County, the bulk of Schenectady County, and just the towns of Berne and Knox in Albany County.

The candidates were asked about relevant background, their reasons for running, and what they hope to achieve if elected. They were also asked to give their views on each of these issues:

School funding: Public schools are funded largely by property taxes in New York State. This has posed inequities with wealthier districts being able to provide more. With the state-imposed tax cap, many districts have been forced to make cuts. How can schools be more fairly funded?

Standards and evaluations: For the next four years, there’s a moratorium on evaluating New York State teachers based on standardized test scores. At the same time, federal legislation has allowed states to develop their own standards. How should New York State proceed?

Environment: The state is committed to having half of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. What programs that are now in place do you favor and what more should be done?

SAFE Act: The Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was hurriedly passed in 2013 after the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Do you support the act or certain parts of it? Why or why not?

Heroin epidemic: What should be done to reduce the number of addicted New Yorkers?

—  LLC loophole: Individuals are capped in making campaign contributions but they can form a Limited Liability Company to donate more. A decision by the United States Supreme Court, brought by Citizens United, allowed corporations to spend money on “electioneering communications” and to advocate for the election or defeat of candidates. Most of the hundreds of millions of dollars this ruling unleashed, largely from a small number of billionaires, have come through super PACs or political action committees. Should New York close the LLC loophole?


Read the profiles of Santabarbara and Vroman.


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