Primary preview: Republicans for 115th District - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Primary preview: Republicans for 115th District

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Assemblywoman Janet Duprey is seeking a fourth term in office.

"The part I really, really like is when I am here in the North Country, working with constituents, working with families with their problems and businesses with their problems," said Duprey, a Republican.

But two other Republicans want the job in Albany.

"I don't think the incumbent has gotten much done," said David Kimmel, Republican for Assembly.

"People have been telling me she has not been doing an adequate job," said Karen Bisso, Republican for Assembly.

With the state budget now under control, Duprey has shifted her focuses to the economy, rural health care, mandate relief and streamlining the permitting process. She says broadband access is critical to the survival of the upstate economy.

"I still hear on a regular basis from businesses who don't have the high-speed intensity they need," Duprey said.

One of Duprey's opponents is a familiar foe, Cadyville businessman David Kimmel is in the race again. He, too, is focused on broadband. Kimmel says the state should pay for it by cracking down on Medicaid abuse. Transportation is also a big priority for Kimmel. He wants the Legislature to adopt a transportation plan that will allow public and private partnerships that are currently used in neighboring states. He used a bridge as an example.

"My bill through public and private partnership would allow an entrepreneur-- I will build a mass transit lane on my nickel, all I want to do is share in on the reward, I want a cut in the tolls," Kimmel said.

Karen Bisso is a longtime educator in the Plattsburgh City School District. She says her platform would look different every single day. Second amendment rights, more ATV trails and downsizing state government are some of her priorities. Bisso feels Albany has gotten involved in too many local issues.

"I reviewed 125 of the first 571 pieces of legislation that have gone across Governor Cuomo's desk. I was astonished at how many of them were local based issues that should have been dealt with at the local level, because the best decisions are made at the local level," Bisso said.

All three candidates agree the state's education system needs to be reformed and the new teacher's evaluation system is flawed, especially the amount of time administrators spend on each evaluation.

"I think it was rubbish. I think we have great teachers, and just like any other organization, districts can identify bad apples," Kimmel said.

"So while teachers are losing jobs, the state education department is gaining jobs," Bisso said.

"Everybody knows about the layoffs, the cuts that are being made in programs. Our schools have used about all of their fund balances if they haven't already. We've got to look at what we are doing to our quality of education," Duprey said.

One big difference between the candidates is where they stand on the 10 economic regional councils established by the governor. They compete for hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid. Last year, the North Country finished second and took home more than $100 million, money that was then given to local companies. Duprey and Kimmel support the competition, Bisso does not, saying taxpayer money should not be handed out to businesses.

"Instead of predicting winner and losers in the business, they took the money, split it across the 62 counties and allowed them to divide it amongst themselves equally to decrease their Medicaid burden-- that would allow them to drop their property taxes, there is your number one step in bringing businesses to the state of New York," Bisso said.

The primary is scheduled for Thurs., Sept. 13, not the usual Tuesday. The state did not want the primary to coincide with the anniversary of September 11.

The winner will take on Democrat Tim Carpenter who is a city councilor in Plattsburgh.

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