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Ashby, Houghtling battling in 107th Assembly District

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Candidates in New York's 107th Assembly District knocked on doors and met with voters Monday ahead of Election Day on Tuesday.

Republican Assemblymember Jake Ashby and Democratic challenger Tistrya Houghtling were making their final case to voters. The district covers most of Rensselaer County and parts of Columbia and Washington Counties.

“I’m running to be a voice for the working people. My husband’s a diesel mechanic, we’re a blue collar working-class family, and I don’t feel like we’re being heard or represented,” said Houghtling.

“I believe in public service that’s why I joined the Army. I fought to get into the Army and fought to serve, and am doing the same thing here at home,” said Assemblymember Ashby.

Assemblymember Ashby has been a New York State lawmaker since he was elected in a special election this past spring. He was a Rensselaer County Legislator before that. He is also a veteran and an occupational therapist.

Houghtling is also an elected official. She is the Town Clerk in New Lebanon and was the Court Clerk before that. She is also a music teacher.

“I’ve been in local government for about eight years and have really seen first hand these local governments struggling and the state government not working collaboratively with the local government. So as a legislator I want to make sure that I’m working with all the local elected officials, local community members and really bringing their voices to Albany,” said Houghtling.

“I think it gives me a unique perspective from all of those angles as a small business owner, I own my own occupational therapy practice; as an educator, I teach up at Maria College; as a veteran, I deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq and spent some time in Africa and all of those missions varied,” said Assemblymember Ashby.

Both candidates are focused on making sure families in the district have access to clean drinking water as Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh and Nassau all deal with water contamination issues.

The candidates said they have also been spending time speaking with voters about their other concerns.

“I would say the three biggest issues are economic development, ethics reform and clean water are the three biggest issues and I’ve sponsored legislation and written legislation to address all of those,” said Assemblymember Ashby.

“I would say the top issue is government corruption I hear it time and time again. Unfortunately it’s the Democrats and the Republicans alike. There’s no clean party in this. I’d like to see legislation that says if you are an elected official and break the rules you are no longer an elected official,” said Houghtling.

Houghtling said she is also concerned about access to services for rural parts of the district.

“Accessing those services, in these rural communities, I’d like to see satellite offices. As Town Clerk I offered to work with social services to bring the services to my town through my offices,” said Houghtling.

“When I was first elected in the special election I set up mobile office hours and throughout the district, even in those rural areas, and I was there to listen to them and understand those needs and am taking the steps to address those issues,” said Ashby.

He said that while in the Assembly, he has learned to work across the aisle. Both candidates talked about being independent voices that are focused on the voters in their district.

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