Addie Russell

Julia Botero / WRVO News

 

Democratic Assemblywoman Addie Russell overcame a rematch challenge from Republican John Byrne to hold on to her seat in the 116th Assembly District. She defeated Byrne 53 percent to 47 percent, or by roughly 2,500 votes, in unofficial returns. The district runs from Cape Vincent to Massena along the St. Lawrence River. Russell was seen as vulnerable after having nearly lost to Byrne two years ago.

Russell's supporters gathered inside a new business in downtown Watertown -- and indoor children's playground called Fun Escape. 

Lauren Rosenthal / NCPR

Two years ago, Democrat Addie Russell nearly lost her seat in the Assembly. She represents the 116th District along the St. Lawrence River, from Cape Vincent to Massena. Russell came back from a deficit on election night to win by just about 100 votes.

Now, Russell is fighting to save her political skin in a rematch with Republican challenger John Byrne. Republicans see a chance to pick up that seat by highlighting a new blemish on Russell’s record, her longstanding support for Sheldon Silver.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Over the last month, the race to represent the 116th Assembly District has gone from heated to scorching. In the so-called River District in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, mailboxes are overflowing with political ads from Republican John Byrne and the Democratic incumbent, Addie Russell.

One of the big issues? Russell has accused Byrne of inflating his credentials as a business owner in New York state.

Byrne doubled down during a recent debate moderated by WWNY-TV's Jeff Cole.

Joanna Richards / WRVO file photo

State Assemblywoman Addie Russell is still untangling herself from ties with disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Lopez resigned from the state legislature in May 2013 in the midst of allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. Lopez was also a big fundraiser for Democrats, including Russell. Russell represents the 116th District, more commonly known as the River District, in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Two candidates are running against one another in the 116th Assembly District that runs along the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. Republican candidate John Byrne, a former town councilman from Cape Vincent, is challenging incumbent Democrat Addie Russell for the second time. Both exchanged heated words during the race’s first debate last night. It was hosted by WWNY-TV in Watertown. 

Julia Botero / WRVO News

 

A German-owned manufacturing company in Watertown will expand its facility and add jobs to its workforce. Roth Industries only plans to add 12 jobs as of now, but any job growth in Jefferson County is positive news.

Roth Industries is in the plastic processing business. That means they use heat to mold plastics into different forms -- like into those orange rectangle-shaped traffic barriers at highway construction sites. They also make oil storage tanks and other products.

Julia Botero

In the wake of the downfall of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, North Country Assembly woman Addie Russell says she stands by the presumption of innocence until you are proven guilty.

Russell, a Democrat from Jefferson County, was part of the long two-day of meetings in Albany that ended with a decision to oust longtime Assembly speaker.

Silver will be out of office by Monday. He was arrested late last week on charges of corruption, including taking about $4 million in kickbacks.

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.