To read the full interview with Jim Martorano, click here.

Q: You came into this race a little late, while fellow Democrat, Robert Kesten, was already months into his campaign. Can you enlighten us as to why you are running?

Jumping into this race was not a foreign concept to me. The party had asked me to get into this race twice before (years ago) but it just wasn’t a good time in my life. This time, it felt like the right time. I looked at the race very closely and I believe I could make a difference. Like you, I looked around and was sick to death at what was going on in Washington and Albany.

The Republican majority in the Senate, in my estimation, has abdicated their right to lead. They couldn’t even pass administerial things like local tax warrants, or renew red light cameras in school districts, let alone pass important things like the Reproductive Health Act, the Child Victims Act, or the Red Flag bill.

Q: Are there any specific objections you have to the performance of Senator Murphy?

None of this is personal, of course, but yes, our policy differences are very stark. For example:

1) We want the Red Flag bill. It will allow a teacher, a counselor, a parent, to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from someone who is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. It would be a great complement to the Safe Act, which was passed after Sandy Hook. Sen. Murphy wants to overturn the Safe Act.

2) We want to expand access to voting: early registration, same day registration, voting by mail, etc. Sen. Murphy has introduced a voter I.D. bill, which is something out of the Jim Crow South. Its only purpose is to intimidate minorities and discourage people from voting. To our mind, that’s not a Hudson Valley value, that’s a Trump value.

3) I support the Reproductive Health Act. Sen. Murphy opposes it. That’s not a Hudson Valley value, that’s a Trump value.

The Senate is extremely conservative and unyielding in their views. They wouldn’t even bring any of these issues to a vote. So, that’s why I am running, to support the values we believe in, not Trump values.