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Opponent accuses Patty Ritchie of using taxpayer dollars to campaign

Amy Tresidder, the Democratic candidate running against Republican state Senator Patty Ritchie, is accusing the incumbent of misusing taxpayer funds to boost her campaign. 

Amy Tresidder grew up on a dairy farm in the town of Hermon, in St. Lawrence County. Her mother was on the school board and her father was a long-time county legislator. She says it was her parents' influence that led her into public service, and now she is an Oswego County legislator.

Tresidder is running against state senator Patty Ritchie to represent Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. Tresidder is a Democrat, but like many Republicans, she touts her efforts toward greater government accountability and efficiency. 

"The whole time I have been a legislator I have not voted 'yes' on a budget once, because I felt that we could make further cuts," she said. "I have been very active in trying to reduce the size of our legislature. There are 25 legislators in Oswego County. We have a similar population to Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties; they both have 15."

Tresidder said a smaller legislature would save taxpayers money. She also highlighted her efforts to better oversee county vehicle usage and purchases. 

And yesterday, she targeted her opponent, state Senator Patty Ritchie, for misusing taxpayer funds. Tresidder said Ritchie has been sending out what boil down to campaign materials in the guise of constituent mailings. 

"People receive these fliers in the mail – a lot of people have been asking me why they've been getting, they've called it junk mail – and they're upset that their tax dollars are paying for it. They don't feel that that's an appropriate use of tax dollars and I agree with them. I think that these fliers should be sent from the campaign, not from the state Senate," Tresidder said.

Ritchie denies any wrongdoing. 

Tresidder, who is considered an underdog in the race, has called for a debate with Senator Ritchie.