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Sayward supports Owens, Gibson

April 18, 2012

Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward says she supports U.S. Reps. Bill Owens and Chris Gibson, a Democrat and a Republican who are running for re-election this year.

Sayward, a Republican from Willsboro, said the region has two good representatives in the House in Gibson and Owens.

"They work well together," she said. "I would support both of them.

"They were able to bring the (House) Agriculture Committee here," Sayward added, referring to a Farm Bill hearing March 9 in Saranac Lake. "You have perfectly good people working together in a bipartisan way; why would you not support them?"

Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, represents New York's 23rd Congressional District, which will become the 21st next year. The new district will cover most of the North Country and nearly all of the Adirondack Park. Two Republicans are campaigning to unseat Owens: Kellie Greene of Sackets Harbor and Matt Doheny of Watertown. Green Party candidate Donald Hassig, of Colton, is also in the race.

Doheny's spokesman, Jude Seymour, declined to comment on Sayward's support for Owens. Greene said the only endorsement that matters to her "is the one that occurs on Election Day.

"Rather than chasing endorsements all day, our campaign is entirely focused on circulating petitions, meetings voters and qualifying for the ballots," she said.

The 20th District, represented by Gibson, will become the 19th and shift downstate to an area that includes the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. Gibson, a Republican from Kinderhook, has one challenger so far: Democrat Julian Schreibman of Stone Ridge.

Sayward announced in March that she won't seek another term in the Assembly. Since then, she has spoken candidly about the state of politics in New York state and in the U.S.

Sayward said too much emphasis is placed on political parties and not enough on individuals.

"You look at the candidate, and you see if they're doing a good job," she said. "And if that's the kind of focus that you want going forward, then that's who you support."

Sayward irked some North Country Republicans recently when she said she is leaning toward voting for Democrat Barack Obama in this year's presidential election. She made the comment on YNN's television program "Capital Tonight."

Sayward told the Enterprise recently that the Obama comment "slipped out" and that she's received a lot of feedback on it. She said she is disillusioned with the field of Republican presidential candidates and is fed up with what she views as constant partisan bickering.

"You can't get anything done when you are just so adamant that if it's not your party's idea, it's not a good idea," she said. "Good government is a lot of diverse people coming together with a lot of ideas. And you have to meet in the middle, and sometimes you don't get everything you want. But if you get something that's going to help the people, I don't think you can remain closed minded."

Sayward said she is a firm believer in core Republican values. She said things like less government and less taxes are important to her. But she said some Republicans are trying to take the country back decades when it comes to things like women's reproductive health.

Sayward waited several weeks before endorsing a candidate in the election to replace her. Last week, she said she's backing Republican Dan Stec, supervisor of the town of Queensbury and chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 26 or cmorris@



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