Addie Russell

Julia Botero / WRVO

The 116th Assembly District race is still in limbo. On Election Day, Republican John Byrne earned 117 more votes than incumbent Democrat Addie Russell. Who wins may come down to the absentee ballots. Close to 3,000 absentee ballots were sent out. 

Absentee ballots had to be postmarked November 3, the day before Election Day. They have until the 12th to reach St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties. Ballot counting will start on November 17, the deadline for all military ballots.

Joanna Richards / WRVO file photo

Last night ended with Republican challenger John Byrne leading the race for the 116th Assembly District by 117 votes. But incumbent Democrat Addie Russell has not bowed out of the race to represent the district that covers parts of Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. She cited the several thousand absentee ballots that still need to be counted, saying their tally may shift the race results. 

Joanna Richards / WRVO file photo

When voters go to the polls in the 116th Assembly District, it will be a referendum on Democratic incumbent Addie Russell who is running for her fourth term.

The so-called River District covers western Jefferson County and northern St. Lawrence County. Republican challenger John Byrne and Conservative candidate Russell Finley say Russell's yes vote on the controversial SAFE Act shows her views conflict with those she represents. 

Brett Levin / Flickr

The fate of a medical marijuana bill remains up in the air in New York state. The state Assembly has approved a version that would allow patients to obtain the drug for medical treatment, while a similar measure remains hung up in the state Senate.

Advocates cheered as the New York State Assembly approved a medical marijuana bill that would  permit patients to possess small amounts of marijuana to treat approved medical conditions. The legislation also sets up licensed dispensaries to grow and sell the drug to sick people.

Joanna Richards / WRVO file photo

State Assemblywoman Addie Russell’s name surfaced as a possible Democratic contender for the 21st Congressional District seat, after Rep. Bill Owens announced he won’t run again. 

Russell, a Democrat from Theresa, has introduced legislation that will adjust the way school districts' wealth is measured.  Generally speaking, the poorer a district is, the more aid it gets. But it’s not a true sliding scale at the top and bottom ends.

Right now, the poorest districts are all lumped together in the same category, even though some may be much poorer than others. The same is true of the richest districts – they're all seen on equal footing, even though some may be much richer than others.