Fiery race for Rensselaer County Executive underway

Meyer (L) and McLaughlin (R)

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – For the first time in 16 years, there will be a new Rensselaer County executive.

Kathy Jimino announced she will not run for re-election and so far it’s been a fiery race for the Republican bid.

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin and Deputy County Executive Chris Meyer are both vying for the top spot.  Both rising to prominence in their respective careers and now focused on the next steps for the county.

For Meyer, the position means more than just moving just down the hall. His 13-year stint in this office was supposed to last only two years.

Meyer worked his way up to deputy county executive, taking on more responsibilities and challenges like the work to clean up contaminated drinking water in the area.

“We tested all the municipal water supplies around the county. You know the county did that. We did all the testing in Petersburg. So we jumped in head first with everything we had.”

The Capital Region native is envisioning ideas of his own.

“Our communications systems for our first responders, police fire and ambulance, we’re putting in a new system so they can all speak to each other. We need to be more aggressive in finding ways to assist smaller businesses to become mid-size businesses, then larger businesses, and helping them get off the ground.”

His opponent is familiar with the halls of the New York State Capitol. Assemblyman McLaughlin hopes to be the fresh set of eyes that he says the county needs.

“To help Rensselaer County get the resources that they need from the state. I have been, certainly, very vocal down there and I’ll continue to be a vocal champion for my constituents in the county.”

Cracking down on welfare fraud, battling the opioid epidemic, and creating jobs are on the top of his to-do list.

“We have to help those that need help. We also need to put to work those who are able to go to work. And that’s one thing I’m going to focus on. They have to have jobs to go to. So my primary focus will be making Rensselaer County as business friendly as we can.”

On September 12th, the candidates battle it out on the ballot in the Republican Primary.

Whoever wins will go head to head with the sole Democratic Candidate Andrea Smyth in the general election on November 7th.

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