A Letter from former Republican State Senator Roy McDonald
For the past few years, I have purposely stayed out of politics. Given how sad and partisan our political discourse has become, it’s a decision I have no regrets about. I have a lifetime of friends in both political parties, people who are decent, responsible and ethical who are finding it harder and harder to get anything accomplished. That is why, today, I feel compelled to speak up for a candidate and a friend who I believe is special and will make a real positive difference for our community and for all of Upstate New York. His name is Aaron Gladd.
The Life of Aaron Gladd
I know Aaron well, having first met him almost a decade ago. Despite being generations apart - we have been on a similar American journey. He grew up poor in Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains with very few advantages. Despite that, he worked hard and developed the spirit of a fighter. He refused to allow his upbringing to define him and he earned a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from SUNY Albany. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, he volunteered to serve our country at a time when he knew that it meant going to war and risking his life. And like me, he served in the 1st Cavalry Division and saw combat firsthand – him in Afghanistan and my service in Vietnam. His accomplishments are remarkable and deserve to be recognized.
We Don’t Leave Anybody Behind
Aaron’s independence is one the many virtues he would bring to the State Senate. It’s so rare these days to find young leaders who understand that service to their country, state, and community is more important than service to any political party. We spend a lot of time worrying about whether we are Republicans or Democrats, when we should really be focused on all of us being Americans and New Yorkers. Our American military tradition of leaving nobody behind, even in the heat of battle, is the most important foundation our country has. This ought to be the motto for New York State – we should never leave our citizens behind. But that is what is happening now. It is with that in mind that I am choosing to change my voting registration to become an Independent, totally independent, because there comes a point in time where America comes first, not politics. And that time is now.
Aaron has also served in government and worked for leaders in both political parties, perhaps the only candidate in the state that can say that. He is running as a Democrat, but he understands from his own military leadership experience how important it is to work with everybody on the team. That bipartisan spirit has been missing from state government—not to mention Washington, DC—for far too long. That is why the core of his campaign has been making sure that We Don’t Leave Anybody Behind, whether that means fighting for families, standing up for all types of people, or ensuring that Upstate New York has a strong voice in our government. Aaron will always fight for what he believes is right for our district – it’s what he has done his whole life. In an age where ethics and honesty count, Aaron stands above the fray.
Aaron and his wife Samantha have two beautiful young children. He knows how important these elections are for everybody’s family. My wife and I have three daughters, three granddaughters, three grandsons, and three great son in-laws. The future is very important to us and I believe it is important to you. We don’t often have an opportunity to meet extraordinary times with extraordinary people. In this election, you have one. His name is Aaron Gladd and I would be proud to see him serve in the State Senate in the seat I once held. We need him. Our future needs him. Upstate needs him.