Roy J. McDonald

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Roy McDonald
Member of the New York State Senate, 43rd District
In office
Preceded by Joseph Bruno
Succeeded by Kathleen Marchione
Member of the New York State Assembly, 112th District
In office
Preceded by Dierdre Scozzafava
Succeeded by Tony Jordan
Member of the New York State Assembly, 100th District
In office
February 2002 – December 31, 2002
Preceded by Robert D'Andrea
Succeeded by Thomas Kirwan
Personal details
Born (1947-04-12) April 12, 1947 (age 70)[1]
Lansingburgh, Troy, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Angela
Residence Saratoga, New York
Alma mater State University of New York at Oneonta

Roy J. McDonald (born April 12, 1947) is a Republican politician and former member of the New York State Senate, representing the 43rd district (all of Rensselaer and part of Saratoga Counties[2]).

Early life and career[edit]

McDonald grew up in Lansingburgh, New York and attended public schools. He earned his associate degree from Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York and moved on to State University of New York at Oneonta, where he earned his master's degree. A veteran, McDonald served as part of the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division in the Vietnam War. Roy and his wife, Angelina Zaccagnino-McDonald, are the parents of three daughters.

For 23 years, McDonald was Town and County Supervisor for the Town of Wilton, New York and in 1986, served a term as Chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors.[1][3] His two grandsons have autism, and McDonald has been a leader regarding autism awareness, creating the Saratoga County Autism Council and sponsoring legislation.[3] Before being elected to the New York State Senate on November 4, 2008, McDonald had served in the New York State Assembly since 2002, representing the 112th District.

Sen. McDonald lost his bid for re-election in 2012; he was defeated by Kathleen Marchione in a Republican primary.

2011 same-sex marriage vote[edit]

On June 16, 2011, McDonald spoke to the press on his intended support for New York State's upcoming vote on same-sex marriage. In response to the pressure he was receiving from other Republicans to vote against the measure, he is quoted as saying:

You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this.[4]

When same-sex marriage legislation was passed by the Senate on June 24, 2011, Senator McDonald voted "yes."[5] McDonald had previously voted "no" on same-sex marriage legislation in 2009.[6]

Following his vote in favor of same-sex marriage, McDonald and the three other Republican senators who voted in favor of the bill saw a massive increase in fundraising, which included money generated from an event hosted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.[7]

2012 re-election bid[edit]

On March 18, 2012 the Saratoga County Republican Party County Committee declined to renominate Senator McDonald for reelection for the November 2012 election.[8] According to the Troy Record, Senator McDonald did receive the support of the Independence Party of New York.[9]

On April 4, 2012, Saratoga County Clerk Kathleen Marchione announced that she would challenge Sen. McDonald in a Republican primary in Senate District 43.[10] One writer commented that the McDonald-Marchione primary contest "could prove to be one of the state's most hotly contested races because of McDonald's recent voting pattern, notably his votes to enact same-sex marriage and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax plan."[11]

After a primary contest that was variously described as "divisive",[12] "bitter,"[13] and "nasty,"[14] the results of the McDonald-Marchione race were initially too close to call.[13] Marchione declared victory on September 25, 2012,[12] while Sen. McDonald's campaign announced that the senator was considering his options.[15] Later that week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, weighed in on the race by announcing his support for Sen. McDonald to continue his re-election bid on a third party line.[16] However, Sen. McDonald opted to cease his campaign and throw his support to Marchione,[17] stating that he was "very proud of [his] time in public service" and that "[s]tanding up for the communities [he] represented was always [his] first priority."[18] Marchione went on to win the general election on November 6, 2012.[19]

Following Sen. McDonald's loss in his 2012 primary, a Newsday headline described the senator as "a political casualty of same-sex marriage."[20]


  1. ^ a b "Roy McDonald's Biography - Project Vote Smart". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  2. ^ "District 43 | New York State Senate". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  3. ^ a b "New York State Senate". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  4. ^ Mathias, Christopher (2011-06-16). "Huffington Post, June 16, 2011". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  5. ^ "The New York Times". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  6. ^ "Gay Marriage Fails, 24-38 | New York Daily News". 2009-12-02. Archived from the original on May 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  7. ^ ""McDonald cashing in on same-sex marriage support" by Capital Region Scene". 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ Cignolimcignoli, Michael (2012-03-12). "Senator Roy McDonald gets state Independence Party endorsement". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  10. ^ "It's official: Kathy Marchione running for NY Senate seat held by Roy McDonald (with video)". 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  11. ^ "It's official: Kathy Marchione running for NY Senate seat held by Roy McDonald (with video)". 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  12. ^ a b "Kathy Marchione declares victory in Republican primary for 43rd Senate District". 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  13. ^ a b MAURY (2012-09-13). "Marchione leads McDonald, but absentee ballots will decide primary". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  14. ^ Francojfranco, James V. (2012-09-07). "Fair Campaign Practices accuses Kathy Marchione of using unfair campaign tactics". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  15. ^ Vielkind, Jimmy (2012-09-25). "Victory out of reach for McDonald". Times Union. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  16. ^ "Gov. Cuomo endorses Republican state Sen. Roy McDonald who helped cast one of deciding votes to legalize gay marriage - NY Daily News". New York: Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  17. ^ "Sen. Roy McDonald to leave race after losing GOP Primary | News from". North Country Public Radio. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  18. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (2012-09-27). "Roy J. McDonald, Republican Who Voted for Gay Marriage, Won't Pursue Third-Party Bid". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ "Kathy Marchione wins 43rd State Senate District". 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  20. ^ "Roy McDonald, a political casualty of same-sex marriage - Editorial". 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Robert A. D'Andrea
New York State Assembly, 100th District
Succeeded by
Thomas Kirwan
Preceded by
Dierdre Scozzafava
New York State Assembly, 112th District
Succeeded by
Tony Jordan
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Joseph Bruno
New York State Senate, 43rd District
Succeeded by
Kathleen Marchione
Preceded by
Thomas Morahan
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Succeeded by
David Carlucci