17 years ago Ray O'Conor, president of Saratoga National, began his quest to climb all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks.
He naturally began with 5,344 foot Mt Marcy, the highest peak in the State. Leading him up that climb was Roy McDonald. Rays says: Roy was actually a very strong hiker and runner..
Today, Roy may not be leading parties up the trails of the High Peaks. But he is charting a leadership path in the world's trickiest terrain - the New York State Capitol.
Roy will tell you this is treacherous terrain. He recites the figures. 75% of New York's population lives south of Poughkeepsie. That means he and the other Upstate New York Senators are already outweighed by the down-state voting blocs.
It also means that if wants help our area, he is going to have to make (oh, how the Tea Party hates this word) compromises.
Roy will tell you of a hardscrabble life growing up in Troy. Father who worked as a day laborer in the steel mills, their first home bought for $2,000 without heat - a tough life - but Roy will say that only strengthens commitment.
Commitments he holds today. Having graduated from Hudson Valley Community College and Oneonta he strongly supports education. he recognizes the need for a social safety net and he knows we have to maintain our highway infrastructure.
With grandchildren who have autism Roy has taken a leadership role in the State Senate heading the Committee on Mental Health,
Our Saratoga Citizen Committee for Mental Health is naming Roy Citizen of the Year for 2012 on May 3 because of his efforts on behalf of autism and other developmental handicaps.
In December Roy hosted an Awareness Day at the Wilton Mall for people discuss their needs. Congressman Gibson and Assemblyman Jordan joined him to answer questions and reach information.
As we mention earlier Roy believes one has to compromise to reach desirable goals. That's why he has worked with Governor Cuomo to reach a budget agreement on time. Roy says its a good budget and he is willing to run on it.
His opponent and the Tea Party have reservations about making any agreement with Governor Cuomo especially one that raises taxes.
Even more disturbing to them is Roy's joining three other Senators to pass the Same-Sex Marriage Act. Roy says his parents now dead were devout Catholics and if they were alive today, they would have proud of his decision.
Roy is determined to tackle the Primary and the General Election just the way he tackled Mt Marcy, years ago. Always onward and always upward until you reach your goal.