Smythe formally announced second Senate run

Stephen Bedetti is the official winner of the Republican primary.

POUGHKEEPSIE – Karen Smythe was surrounded by supporters Saturday afternoon in Poughkeepsie as she announced her intention to challenge State Senator Sue Serino in 2020.

The race is Democrat Smythe’s second attempt to unseat the incumbent Republican lawmaker.  The 2018 race was the Democrat’s first foray into politics and out of the approximate 118,000 votes cast, newcomer Smythe came within less than 700 votes of victory.

Smythe has vowed to run on the same issues that voters embraced in 2018 including job growth, the environment, women’s rights, and education.

Karen Smythe

Smythe’s experience as a business owner has provided insight to the need for jobs that pay a “living wage.”

That sentiment was echoed by Dutchess County Democratic Committee Vice-chair Michael Dupree, who said that Smythe has developed “an aggressive plan to bring sustainable wages here – jobs that you can actually raise a family, build a life, and put down roots.”

Smythe’s first run for office benefitted from a groundswell of volunteers and supporters that worked diligently in an effort to send the Democrat to Albany.  Dupree is confident that the near success of 2018’s race has built momentum among the party faithful, leading to additional support for the upcoming race.

“Because of the close race last time, even more people are interested in helping on the new campaign,” said Dupree.  State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson (D, Newburgh) attended the campaign launch and was excited about Smythe’s commitment to run again.  Asked about the importance of getting Smythe elected, Jacobson said, “To have a state senator that shares my values, from Dutchess County, will go a long ways towards accomplishing our agenda.”  Jacobson’s district includes the cities of Beacon and Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County.

Smythe told the audience that the campaign will once again call to create a more equitable distribution of state funding for education. In addition to developing a more balanced funding stream, Smythe is taking issue with testing requirements for students.  She supports reducing test burdens and allowing parents to opt children out of certain common core standards. She staunchly believes that student test scores should be decoupled from teacher evaluations so that teachers can teach students, and not teach to the test. Smythe also pledged to fight to bring more technical trade skills to our classrooms, because “one size doesn’t fit all” – and students deserve the option to follow different pathways to success.

Senator Susan Serino was attending the annual “Senior Golden Gathering” on Saturday, hosted by her office in conjunction with the Dutchess County Office for the Aging and was unavailable for comment.  Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said Serino “has been an extraordinarily effective representative for hardworking middle-class taxpayers, families, and seniors throughout the Hudson Valley. Her sole focus is on continuing to do the best job she can possibly do as their state senator.”

The senate district encompasses a majority of Dutchess County as well as a portion of Putnam County.

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