Michelle Hinchey, the 31 year old daughter of the late Congressman Maurice Hinchey, has formed a campaign committee to explore running for the New York State Senate in 2020 as a Democrat against 46th District Republican incumbent George Amedore.
The district is a wild one, drawn nearly a decade ago when Republicans still controlled the State Senate, skirting more urban areas in favor of rural. It includes parts of Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster Counties, and all of Montgomery and Greene Counties.
There is one other announced Democratic Candidate, Woodstocker Jeff Collins, one of the founders of the Sudbury School in Woodstock, who announced his candidacy July 2.
Hinchey was born and raised, and still lives in Saugerties. She’s a graduate of Saugerties High School and New York’s Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University. Amedore has not said if he will run for re-election.
“I’m excited about it,” she said in an informal talk Tuesday. “For me personally its been a long time coming. Right now it feels right…It’s a pretty diverse and vast district…I know Ulster pretty well, but up in Montgomery its a different place. I’m looking forward to getting out there on the ground and to start meeting people, finding out how they feel about how our government should be working, how to keep our culture alive and thriving.”
She was asked about her father’s influence.
“He encompasses all that I am,” she said. “He taught me how politics can and should work and that’s for the people. He is in everything I’m doing. My father instilled in me a unwavering sense of commitment to my community and showed me, first-hand, that true hard work and compassion can have real meaningful, positive impacts on people’s lives.”
But she intends to be her own person. “I’m excited to bring my vision, my experiences to this race in the state. People are wondering, what are the long term economic plans? Infrastructure plans? Public transportation? It’s an exciting moment.
Her release says she has worked her way up to executive-level communications positions in the technology and media industries; she serves on the Board of Directors of the Catskill Center, which works to protect and foster the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of the Catskill region; and has worked with Environment NY to ban fracking and encourage clean, green energy in Upstate New York. She has been a life-long advocate/activist for progressive causes and has spent over two decades participating in political conferences focusing on issues of importance to New Yorkers.
“For me,” she said, “its always been incredibly important to give back to my community. I saw first hand the positive impact a person can make. We live in such a special community and it’s an honor to have this opportunity to listen to our neighbors and learn what needs to be done to continue to improve the lives of those around us.”
She said that her first steps will be to conduct a listening tour of the district.