KINGSTON, N.Y. — Democratic Assemblywoman Sarahana Shrestha said Friday, Feb. 9, that voters should reject the “old boys club” way of governing in reaction to the launch of her primary opponent’s campaign for the 103rd Assembly District seat.
In a statement issued Friday, Shrestha said that Gabriella “Gabi” Madden would essentially be the same old, same old of Albany politics. Shrestha was elected to the 103rd Assembly District seat in 2022, and the two are set to square off in a Democratic primary.
“We won’t let the Old Boys Club take us back to settling for less,” Shrestha said. “There may be a new candidate, but it’s the same club: handing the reins to corporate lobbyists and CEOs and telling New Yorkers to ask for less.”
“I am confident the 103rd will once again reject that tired agenda,” said Shrestha, who is a member of the Hudson Valley Democratic Socialists of America.
Madden officially launched her campaign Thursday in Kingston with a slogan, “Results not Rhetoric.”
Madden said that she would be a leader who will “talk less and listen more,” adding that she believes that “good government is not achieved by making demands but rather by creating understanding.”
Madden said she can be a pillar of strength.
“It is incumbent upon our elected leaders to be among them, to be a steady light that guides us through a sea of change that often pulls people in many directions,” she said. “I believe I am that pillar.”
Madden is a former aide for former Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and state Sen. James Skoufis, both Democrats. Cahill was defeated by Shrestha in a 2022 Democratic primary.
In her statement, Shrestha said that her efforts have born fruit.
“In just a year, we passed the Build Public Renewables Act, (Shrestha was a co-sponsor) the biggest Green New Deal program in the nation’s history, and won new rules to bring transparency to LLCs,” Shrestha said “This year we’re about to eliminate copay for insulin, and that’s just the beginning.”
The bill was passed as part of the state budget last year.
Shrestha referred to a revised insulin bill that, in a different from, has not passed, although it was pushed in the past. Shrestha is a co-sponsor of the bill.
“The bill (A04141) was stuck in the Insurance committee while chaired by my predecessor, he was against it,” Shrestha said. “At the time it was written to lower the copay from $100 to $30. I campaigned on this bill and have been prioritizing it since.”
The bill, she said, is sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America legislator Phara Souffront-Forrest in the Assembly.
“It’s now been amended to remove the copay altogether, and the Governor has included it in her Executive Budget proposal,” Shrestha said.
More recently, Shrestha said she has introduced a bill that uses the international reference pricing model to lower the cost of some prescription drugs.
The state primaries are set for June 25. Early primary voting will run from June 15 to 23.
The last day for a voter to change their political party to vote in the primary is Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Board of Elections needs to receive the change of enrollment by that date. Petitioning for these offices will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 27, and they are due to be filed from April 1-4.