State Senate candidate Karen Smythe, running in the 41st District of NY, (Hudson Valley), received the SAM Party endorsement earlier this year and is running on the SAM Party line Row H on November 3.
Smythe who has lived in the district all of her life,( born in Poughkeepsie and has lived in LaGrange, now living in Red Hook) is running in a hotly contested race in a district that includes parts of Putnam County and most of Dutchess County.
Smythe, a democrat who ran for the same seat in 2018, sought out the SAM Party line because she supports the core principles or the party and supports the concept of keeping minor party ballot lines in New York State. “If I thought that minor parties were a bad thing, I wouldn’t have reached out to SAM. It provides me with an opportunity to have an outlet and reach out beyond the two major parties,” said Smythe, who brings a wealth of business experience from within the 41st District to her election.
“I first ran for office in 2018. Prior to that all of my experience is in the business world.” Smythe ran her family’s union construction company CB Strain & Son, until it was sold several years ago. My maiden name was Strain, and I learned a lot about how difficult it is for small businesses and how desperate we are for skilled trades persons.”
“I also want to focus on helping to provide career and technology training as a pathway to success. Sometimes, higher education isn’t always the way to a great career. My job, if elected, will be to find a way to create good paying jobs in the district to attract people back into our communities.”
Smythe explained that the 41st District runs through along the Hudson River and river towns, but “as you go east, we have an agriculture-based economy and some of the small farms are struggling. Broadband service is a problem in the eastern part of the district, as is our water supply lines and sewer systems. These are issues that I want to grapple with to find long term solutions.”
Smythe views on term limits coincides with the SAM Party. “I support term limits but would support extending the term of state senators from 2 years to 4 years, and then having a term limit of 12 years. Unending terms is not ideal, and incumbency comes with a lot of benefits. It’s tough to run against an incumbent.
Smythe now serves as the Executive Director of the nonprofit Beatrix Farrand Garden Association in Hyde Park, which is dedicated to preserving Farrand’s garden at the Bellefield Mansion and offering educational and cultural programs.
“To share the experience, and the beauty of plants is, very special. Connecting to the natural world is something we get away from, and I hope that young people do connect and appreciate our national spaces. We can also use the environment to create new jobs. In my old company we were able to shift our focus to renewable energy projects. The climate crisis has forced us to move in a positive direction.”
Smythe sees the importance of political parties like SAM-NY. “Our state has a long history of having these other parties to advocate for important issues that may not be addresses if they were not around.” Smythe also opposed the recently passed ballot access law which requires small political parties to run a candidate for President and receive 120,000 votes to maintain their ballot status.
SAM-NY Chairman Michael Volpe said- “SAM supports candidates who come from the community and bring a different perspective to serving the people of New York. Karen Smythe is one of those candidates who also understands the importance of how minor political parties can influence government for the better. We urge a vote for Karen Smythe on Nov. 3.”