Outspoken Assemblyman who was driving force behind Buster’s Law, Proposition 2 to go digital at Capitol, Tax Cap and who has repeatedly got in the face of state’s most powerful leaders when Upstate was threatened, to run to succeed Senator Hugh Farley in State Senate; promises to be a fighter for Upstate taxpayers
It’s official: Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) is running to be the next State Senator for the 49th State Senate District which is currently held by Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C,I-Niskayuna), who announced last week that he will not seek another term.
“I want to again thank Senator Hugh Farley for his distinguished career in public service and for everything he has done to make the Capital Region and Upstate a better place. I am honored to have his strong support as I announce my candidacy to serve the residents of the 49th state Senate District as its next State Senator. I might be expanding the district I represent but I won’t be changing who I am and the important advocacy I do fighting for my constituents and Upstate taxpayers. I’m still going to be the same Jim Tedisco -- as independent and outspoken as ever in standing up and telling it like it is when it comes to reforming Albany and improving the quality of life for New Yorkers,” said Tedisco.
“I’ve always believed that leadership should be based on the quality, content, and character of one’s ideas and ability to communicate them. Outnumbered over two to one by Democrats in the Assembly, I know that time after time, with the support of my constituents, I’ve successfully been able to, as the Associated Press wrote, ‘break through with ideas that affect New Yorkers.’ I’m proud to be an original author of the Tax Cap and helped get that passed and was the driving force behind passage of the landmark Buster's Law making animal cruelty against pets a felony. The FBI recognizes that those who abuse animals go on to hurt humans. In 2014, I sponsored, promoted and helped pass with 77 percent of the vote statewide Proposition 2, a constitutional amendment to save millions of tax dollars by stopping the wasteful printing of paper copies of legislation and allow digital copies to suffice on legislators' desks at the Capitol,” said Tedisco.
“When it comes to fighting corruption and standing up to the powerful leaders in Albany, anyone can hide behind a press release and beat their chests with tough talk. I have a proven track record of not being afraid to stand up to and literally get in the faces of some of Albany's most powerful leaders, such as Eliot Spitzer and Sheldon Silver, when Upstate's quality of life has been threatened,” said Tedisco.
“Now, more than ever, it's critically important that the New York State Senate remain in Republican hands so there's checks and balance against total one-party domination in Albany. As a member of the Assembly’s minority party, I know I’ve been very effective in getting things accomplished in some of the most difficult circumstances,” said Tedisco. “Imagine how much more I can accomplish for the people I would be honored to represent in the Senate.”
“I am pleased to express my strong support for Jim Tedisco to be the next Senator for the 49th Senate District. I have been honored to serve the people of the 49th District, and I care very deeply about these communities. I am confident that Jim Tedisco will serve the District well and will work tirelessly to improve the quality of life in our area. I have worked very closely with Jim, and have found him to be a passionate, energetic and effective advocate for our region. I know he will continue to do the same as our next Senator, and am proud to wholeheartedly support him for this position,” said Senator Farley.
“Jim Tedisco is a dedicated public servant who has the courage of his convictions to speak out and fight for what’s right. More importantly, Jim Tedisco has always had the courage to act and follow his principles. I saw this firsthand in working with Jim and my fellow County Clerks to defeat then Governor Eliot Spitzer’s reckless scheme to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. I saw it again when Jim worked with me to stop former Governor David Paterson’s costly mandate which would have forced motorists to needlessly purchase new license plates. And I’ve seen it every day since serving with Jim in the state Legislature. The record is clear: Jim Tedisco has been a force for true reform, honesty and integrity; he says what he means and means what he says. I am thrilled that Jim will be joining me, George Amedore, Betty Little and the rest of our colleagues in the Senate Republican Majority as we continue working as a team for stronger families, stronger communities and a better quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Senator Kathy Marchione (R,C,I-Halfmoon), Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, 43rd District.
“Assemblyman Tedisco has been a strong voice and representative for his constituents in the 112th Assembly District,” said Senator George Amedore (R,C,I-Rotterdam). “I’ve been proud to call him a colleague, and a friend, and I think he’ll make a great addition to the State Senate.”
“I am thrilled that my friend and colleague Jim Tedisco has decided to run for the New York Senate. Jim has been a mentor and friend to me and so many others and has been an outstanding Assemblyman and representative for not only his constituents, but for all New Yorkers. Now he will continue that outstanding leadership in the Senate and continue to provide a strong voice for Upstate,” said Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke).
“It is both an honor and a privilege to serve with Assemblyman Tedisco in the New York State Assembly. Jim is an energetic and dedicated civil servant and advocate for his constituents. He is a sincere, authentic representative who deeply cares for his community. We need to put his strengths to work for us in the NYS Senate,” said Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I-Schoharie), who represents seven counties in the 102nd Assembly District.
“Jim Tedisco is a veteran legislator but he is also a committed reformer and just the kind of representative that the Senate needs to break loose the issues that plague Albany and get us back on the right track,” said Assemblyman Marc Butler (R,C-118th Assembly District).
“I am pleased to offer my endorsement for Jim Tedisco as the Senate candidate for the 49th Senate District. Jim has been a strong supporter for ethics reforms and transparency in government. Jim has a proven record for leadership and understands the issues that are important to the families in the district,” said Assemblyman Dan Stec (R,C,I-Queensbury).
“I proudly support Jim Tedisco for the NYS Senate,” said Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett. “I have known Jim for more than 20 years and he has always been a tireless worker on behalf of the people he serves. Clifton Park and the entire 49th Senate District will benefit from his proactive, responsive and effective leadership.”
Realizing that animal cruelty is a bridge crime and those who abuse animals often go on to hurt people, Tedisco was the driving force behind passage of the landmark Buster’s Law to protect our pets by making animal cruelty a felony.
In 2014, Proposition 2, a constitutional amendment to go digital at the Capitol and stop wasting paper, which Tedisco sponsored and promoted passed overwhelmingly with 77 percent of the vote statewide.
That same year, out of 150 state Assembly seats, Tedisco received the most votes statewide – nearly 34,000 – of any candidate in a contested race.
Tedisco has a strong record of standing up to some of the most powerful leaders when they tried to negatively impact Upstate New York’s quality of life. In 2007, former Governor Eliot Spitzer tried to challenge Tedisco and said he was an “F’in Steamroller and would roll over” him and anyone who would get in his way” when it came to Spitzer handing out driver’s licenses to those here illegally. Tedisco led the charge to steamroll “Governor Steamroller” and successfully stopped his plan dead in its tracks by making the case that no American citizen gets a reward for breaking the law and certainly neither should those who come here illegally.
When former Speaker Sheldon Silver wouldn’t bring property tax relief to the budget table, Tedisco got in Silver’s face at a press conference on behalf of taxpayers when most other public officials were afraid to publicly stand up to him. And New York eventually got the Tax Cap, which Tedisco was the first legislative author of, passed.
Tedisco voted against and is sponsoring the repeal of the SAFE Act, which did nothing but infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights and make people less safe.
Recently, Tedisco has championed the rights of parents to opt-out their children from developmentally inappropriate Common Core standardized tests by authoring the Common Core Parental Refusal Act and even challenging whether Governor Cuomo, who was an ardent supporter of the tests, to take the 5th grade exams and make his results public.
Tedisco is a longtime critic of the lack of transparency in the state budget process. He once voluntarily lagged his own salary over a late budget, displayed a digital budget countdown clock counting down the days, hours and minutes to the budget deadline and would wear “pass the budget” and “fiscal restraint” neck ties and dress socks in the years when the state budget was chronically late to draw public attention for the need for fiscal discipline on behalf of overburdened taxpayers. This year, Tedisco introduced Truth in Spendinglegislation to help the public, media and rank and file lawmakers follow the money in state spending and stop the quid pro quo corruption deals that allowed Sheldon Silver and other lawmakers to break the law and fleece taxpayers. Tedisco’s Truth in Spending bill has support from five good government groups – which is almost unprecedented for a Republican lawmaker.
To fight corruption, Tedisco wants to take the pensions away from elected officials who are convicted of felonies for betraying their oaths of office. He has authored Recalllegislation to give voters the power to recall corrupt elected officials who are derelict in their duties and wants to harness the “Spirit of ‘76” for a rank and file member revolt to take back power from leaders and enable 76 sponsors of legislation in the Assembly and 32 in the Senate to bring a bill to the Floor for a debate and up or down vote.
Tedisco is a well-regarded legislative expert on issues pertaining to missing persons. He authored and passed non-custodial release legislation to protect children from being abducted. He led the charge to enact the civil confinement law to keep dangerous sex offenders off our streets. Following years of research, Tedisco authored a book entitled “Missing Children: A psychological approach to understanding the causes and consequences of stranger and non-stranger abduction of children.”
The 49th State Senate District includes parts of Saratoga, Schenectady and Herkimer Counties and all of Fulton and Hamliton Counties.
Tedisco, who served as a special education teacher and guidance counselor for about a decade, was first elected to the State Assembly in 1982. He previously was a City Councilman in Schenectady. Tedisco was Assembly Minority Leader from 2005 to 2009. He is currently Assembly Minority Whip.
A graduate of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady and Union College, Tedisco earned his master’s degree in special education from the College of St. Rose.
Tedisco holds numerous athletic awards and records for his talent on the basketball court including earning the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) 25th Anniversary Award, and being elected to the Capital Region Basketball Hall of Fame and as one of the first members of the Union College Athletic Hall of Fame.
He is a member of numerous civic organizations including Schenectady Rotary Club, Ballston Spa Elks Lodge No. 2619, Sons of Italy, Schenectady Lodge 321, the Center for Hope in Ballston Spa, Principessa Elena Society in Saratoga Springs, and Union College Alumni Association.
Tedisco is a resident of Glenville where he lives with his wife, Mary, son Andrew and dog Gracie and cats Glinda and Elphaba.