By Brian PJ Cronin
Sue Serino, a Republican, small business owner and former Dutchess County legislator, is seeking her third term representing District 41 in the state Senate. She is being challenged by Karen Smythe, a Democrat and Poughkeepsie native who runs her family construction business, C.B. Strain & Son.
Serino has not yet responded. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Do you support keeping the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act as it is? If not, what two changes would you make?
Smythe: I support common-sense gun safety measures which protect New Yorkers. I believe that we need to pass legislation to further prevent gun violence, including improved background checks, banning bump stocks and implementing “extreme risk protection orders” to keep guns out of the hands of individuals deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro has said he would support allowing large-scale hydraulic fracturing in New York as part of a closely monitored test program. Do you agree or disagree with this?
Smythe: I strongly disagree.
Would you support a single-payer health care system in New York State? Why or why not?
Smythe: I would support the creation of a universal single-payer health plan for New York State. Affordable and quality healthcare continues to be out of reach for too many people in our community. I believe we need leaders in New York State who will take bold action to actually help people and businesses.
What one thing could be done to help bring more quality jobs to the Mid-Hudson Valley?
Smythe: We need to invest in more job training and vocational education opportunities to create a skilled work force that will attract new businesses offering good paying jobs.
Many communities in the Mid-Hudson Valley are considering implementing a municipal ID program, as the City of Poughkeepsie is doing. Are you in favor or against these program?
Smythe: I respect a municipality’s right to make that decision on a local level based on the needs and wants of their community.