PATTERSON, N.Y. -- It took a while, but a Democratic challenger in the 94th Assembly District race has emerged.
Democrat Andrew Falk has announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination to represent the newly redrawn district ahead of the Putnam County Democratic Convention on May 22.
"I love my neighbors, I love the town of Patterson, and Putnam and Westchester counties," said Falk. "It's a special part of the world, and I want to contribute to keeping it a great place and making it a better place."
Falk, 44, has been a Patterson resident for more than nine years; he and his wife have two elementary-school-aged children. He grew up on Long island and attended SUNY Buffalo and the Touro College School of Law.
Falk said there were issues he wanted to address, including the cost of education.
"There's been a lot of backslapping about the 2 percent tax cap for school districts, and I think that's a good start. But I think it hurts the communities unless we get rid of the unfunded mandates that are coming down from Albany. New York needs to get its books in order, but you can't do it by breaking the backs of the local communities, because we can't afford it," he said.
Falk also said he wanted to see education reform, with an emphasis on helping students achieve.
"Unfortunately, the education reform is being carried out without input from the educators themselves," Falk said. "I think the best resources we have are the actual teachers. We have think tanks that I think might have motivations that are removed from actually improving the classrooms, and I think the teachers are unfairly being attacked. We need to ask how we can support our teachers."
The Democratic candidate said that, while he disagreed with Katz politically, he wanted to refrain from the negative campaigning that has become common in recent years.
"There's so much political fighting; I believe that we have more in common that unites us than divides us," Falk said. "I don't want to start my campaign saying anything negative about Assemblyman Katz. I just think I can do a very good job for the people of this district."
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