Orange County Legislature Chairman Steve Brescia, a longtime Republican county legislator and Village of Montgomery mayor, plans to compete with state Sen. James Skoufis for the 39th Senate District seat this fall.
Brescia started collecting petition signatures on Tuesday and will announce his candidacy at a campaign event in Crawford on Sunday.
In a statement on Wednesday, Brescia touted the county’s recent tax record and economic progress and vowed to carry that same outlook to the Senate if elected.
“We have held the line on local taxes, and greatly increased economic development, tourism and job growth throughout the county,” he said. “I am running for State Senate to bring this common sense approach to Albany in order to improve our business climate, cut taxes and repeal the disastrous bail reform law.”
Skoufis, a Cornwall Democrat and former assemblyman, won a 2018 race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Bill Larkin in a district that takes in about half of Orange County and two towns each in Rockland and Ulster. He reported a formidable $321,000 in his campaign account in mid-January.
Republicans had no candidate for the 39th Senate District when the Orange County Republican Committee met on Feb. 13 to endorse contenders for this year’s elections.
In response to Brescia’s candidacy, Skoufis said on Wednesday that he is working hard for his constituents during the legislative session in Albany but looks forward to campaigning later in the year.
“I welcome the opportunity to contrast my strong, bipartisan record with double-dipping, lifetime politician Steve Brescia, who moonlights on the IDA as Orange County’s king of corporate welfare,” Skoufis said.
He was referring to Brescia’s board seat on the Orange County Industrial Development Agency, which awards property-tax abatements and other tax incentives to businesses that plan to open or expand operations in the county. Skoufis has crusaded against unnecessary tax breaks for businesses since becoming senator.