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Sun., Oct. 4
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Karen Bisso to launch Assembly bid


A primary in the north country Assembly delegation could be on.

A Plattsburgh woman with tea party ties will announce her candidacy for state Assembly on Wednesday in a district held by a GOP lawmaker.

Karen M. Bisso, a special education teacher, wants to run in the district held by Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey, R-Peru. She is seeking the Republican and Conservative lines in the district.

“This appears to be the right time for me. It appears to be the right time for New York,” Mrs. Bisso said. “I think we’re in pretty big crisis, and we need a strong voice coming out of the north country.”

The district is currently composed of Clinton and Franklin counties, and one Essex County town. But a legislative task force released tentative maps in January that had the district stretching all the way to Colton, Hopkinton, Brasher and Lawrence.

Mrs. Bisso said that she attended a campaign event in St. Lawrence County two weeks ago in preparation for her run. The final maps haven’t been agreed upon yet.

Ms. Duprey said she was reserving comment until Mrs. Bisso’s official kickoff.

Mrs. Bisso, a Long Island native, moved to the north country in 1979 and has been working in the city school district since 1987. She unsuccessfully sought to get on the Republican primary ballot to take on Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y. but didn’t garner enough signatures.

She was a volunteer for Conservative Party congressional candidate Douglas L. Hoffman, one of the original tea party candidates.

Her campaign won’t focus on social issues, she said, but she would not have voted to approve a law legalizing gay marriage in New York in 2011, as Ms. Duprey did.

Instead, her campaign will focus on job growth, education, easing regulations and shrinking the size of government.

“My primary concern is jobs,” Mrs. Bisso said. “Social issues don’t put jobs in front of people, they don’t bring money back in people’s pockets.”

She said she would approach her job with a different style than many incumbent legislators. Republicans in the Assembly, vastly outnumbered by the Democratic majority, hold little sway over the chamber’s day-to-day direction. But she wouldn’t come back to the north country and say that her “hands were tied,” she said.

“That simply is not in my language,” she said. “I can’t even fathom that.”

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