The Orange County Democratic Committee has endorsed attorney Sarita Bhandarkar to run for the 99th State Assembly District seat currently held by Republican Colin Schmitt.
The lifelong Orange County resident has her law practice in Cornwall.
Calling herself a “pragmatist, not a partisan,” she said that as “both an attorney and as a community volunteer, I have learned to work effectively with and on behalf of people who do not always think, believe, act, or look like I do. What I bring to the table is a willingness and an ability to communicate and collaborate with others.”
Schmitt is completing his first term. He was elected to the Assembly in 2018 to replace James Skoufis who was elected to the State Senate
“I am proud to work every day in bipartisan fashion to deliver real results for my constituents and defend our Hudson Valley values. It is a privilege of a lifetime to serve our district and I will continue to work non-stop for each and every resident of our wonderful district both at home and in Albany,” said Schmitt, a New Windsor resident. “I knew there would be consequences for being an independent voice in Albany serving as a check to the Governor and Attorney General. Standing up to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James and their favored special interests who seek to change the character of our communities has made me a political target. Leading the opposition to Cuomo’s dangerous criminal justice changes and bail elimination has made me a political target. We now know the consequences for bold leadership against Cuomo and James is the recruitment of a long time left wing political activist and donor to run against me. We will not allow a Cuomo candidate to take this seat. We will win in November.”
The 99th Assembly District, in addition to New Windsor, also includes the towns of Woodbury, Highlands, Cornwall, Blooming Grove, Hamptonburgh, Chester, Goshen, Wawayanda and a portion of Stony Point.