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Second Amendment advocate may challenge Maziarz for State Senate

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo courtesy of Gia Arnold – Gia Arnold of Clarendon, with her daughter, speaks at a Second Amendment rally in Warren County last year. Arnold is one of the state coordinators for the New York Revolution, a grass roots organization that formed shortly after the SAFE Act was approved last January by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature.

CLARENDON – One of the leaders of a state-wide organization that opposes the SAFE Act may challenge State Sen. George Maziarz for the position in the state Legislature.

Gia Arnold, 24, of Clarendon has been crisscrossing the state since April, helping to organize rallies against the SAFE Act. She helped create the New York Revolution, a grass roots group that has railed against the SAFE Act and tried to advocate for Second Amendment rights.

Arnold said she believes she could be a bigger force in the state Legislature, which went along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and passed the SAFE Act last January without any public comments.

“I want to find a way into Albany because that is where I can make the most impact,” she said.

Arnold is a registered Republican. She said she is exploring her options for a run for the 62nd Senate District, which includes all of Orleans, most of Niagara, and a portion of western Monroe counties. She has formed an exploratory committee and intends to file the paperwork with the Board of Elections on Monday to begin her campaign.

Arnold said she isn’t targeting Maziarz, who has pushed legislation to repeal the SAFE Act. He spoke at an April rally in Albion organized by Arnold.

Arnold has three young children. She is co-owner of a tree trimming business with her husband Jeremy. She has witnessed the struggles of a small business owner, through what she said are burdensome taxes and regulations. She thinks the state is quick to offer incentives and tax breaks for new businesses, but does little to help existing enterprises.

“There is too much focus on new businesses,” she said. “What about the people who are already here and struggling?”

Arnold is on her way to a SAFE Act forum today in Delaware County. NY Revolution is urging gun owners to register and vote with a goal of unseating Cuomo as governor in November.

Arnold said she never envisioned herself as a public speaker and a political activist. She said she felt compelled to speak out about the SAFE Act and now the state government.

“I’ve been pushing myself outside my comfort zone,” she said. “I want to be a voice in Albany.”

She wants to run a grass roots campaign, trying to make personal connections with voters. She plans to attend many community events in the three counties.

Maziarz, a  Newfane resident, was first elected to the State Senate in 1995. He is one of the Republican leaders in the Senate. He is a member of SCOPE, the Shooters Committee on Political Education.