Smythe challenges Serino to debate for senate voters

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Democratic State Senate candidate Karen Smythe is calling on incumbent Senator Sue Serino to face off in a virtual public forum before the Boards of Elections begin mailing out absentee ballots in late September.

Smythe has been participating in rallies at post offices throughout the district to protest the potentially damaging changes to the postal service.  “The changes instituted by the Postmaster General will affect customers across the country, in a negative way.  The changes will not only affect ballot delivery but will also interfere with timely delivery of medications and Social Security checks,” said Smythe, advocating for the restoration of postal services.

Smythe said, “Voters of the 41st district will not have an opportunity to listen to the two
candidates for State Senate until the Dutchess Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast on October 21st.” “Since voters will begin receiving their absentee ballots the week of September 21st, an entire month will pass before voters have an opportunity to hear us discuss the issues. I am calling on Senator Serino to allow residents of the 41st Senate District to make an informed decision before they cast their vote.”

Senate Republican Spokeswoman, Candice Giove, said, “Senator Serino debated her opponent three times in the last election and the differences between them are clear. Senator Serino knows that actions speak louder than words which is why now, as our community continues to grapple with an unprecedented pandemic, she is rightly prioritizing the needs of our neighbors who have been hardest hit, not on politics. There will be a time and place for a candidate forum as it gets closer to Election Day.”

Smythe, pushing for the debate, said  “Now that many of us are accustomed to virtual meetings, voters with Internet access can join a candidate forum from the farthest corners of Dutchess and Putnam with the click of a button and without leaving their homes.”

Serino faced a serious challenge from Smythe in 2018.  In the first race, Serino won by a mere 688 votes.  The 2018 race was Smythe’s first time running for office.