The Northern Westchester Examiner

Falk Enters Race for State Senate Seat Held by Murphy

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2016 NWE 0209 Andrew FalkFor the third straight year, Patterson Democrat Andrew Falk is seeking elected office.

Falk confirmed his run for the New York State Senate in the 40th district Friday afternoon, gearing up on an issue oriented campaign focused on public education, middle class relief, and making the state more affordable. The district encompasses parts of Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties and is currently led by Senator Terrence Murphy (R/Yorktown).

Falk said despite repealing Common Core, the controversial education reform in New York, being perceived as a Republican issue, Falk has been a staunch fighter again Common Core. He said the state needs to find a way to stop burdening middle class families and small businesses with crushing taxes by seeking mandate relief.

“These are real issues and they’ve always been the issues,” Falk said. “If you’ve heard this before, it’s because this fight is still there. I don’t see that we’ve made any progress.”

Falk has had to two failed runs for the 94th assembly seat, both times falling to Republican Steve Katz (Mohegan Lake) and last year he lost to Rich Williams in the race for Patterson supervisor by a paper-thin margin. When he lost to Katz in 2012 and 2014 in a Republican heavy district that encompasses parts of upper Westchester and Putnam, he lost 54-45 percent and 53-47 percent, respectively.

Falk voiced numerous complaints about Murphy, claiming he’s made a lot of promises when he ran for Senate, but hasn’t followed through on many of them. Even though Murphy ran on the Stop Common Core line, he voted to include the Common Core in last year’s budget, Falk said. He also voted to send money to charter schools in New York City and not more money for public schools in the Hudson Valley, Falk added.

“His vote is just a disaster and a disappointment and breaking his promise,” Falk remarked.

Falk also called out Murphy for referring to now convicted ex-senate majority leader Dean Skelos as a “true gentleman” after he was indicted for corruption charges. He said the Ethics Committee that Murphy sits on didn’t have a meeting all of last year, calling it “mind boggling.”

“He congratulates himself when he doesn’t accomplish anything,” Falk said.

The state GOP committee didn’t think much of Falk entering the race.

“Not only aren’t we going to comment specifically about a guy who has run twice and lost twice for the Assembly, was defeated for town supervisor last year, and is already seeking yet another office, voters shouldn’t give him the time of day either,” Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said in a published statement.

Addressing his propensity to run for office, Falk said he thinks people appreciate that he continues to fight with them and for causes he finds important. Each time he’s run, support for him has grown, he added.

As for Murphy, his comments struck a more respectful tone. Murphy beat Democrat and Croton Attorney Justin Wagner in 2014 in a contentious race.

“Welcome to the race. Democracy is a beautiful thing,” Murphy said in a statement. “I am proud of my record both as a local councilman and in my first year in Albany. I look forward to a positive campaign focused on the issues that matter to the families of the Hudson Valley such as providing real tax relief, creating jobs, restoring honesty and integrity to state government and winning the war on heroin and opioid addiction.”

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