Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates and the western portion of Tompkins Counties make up the New York State Senatorial District #58. They have been represented by Republican Sen. Tom O’Mara since 2010 when the former Senator Winner surprisingly decided not to campaign for another term. O’Mara ran unopposed in 2012 and 2014.
That will not the case in 2016.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, January 12 and 13, Leslie Danks Burke, attorney and activist from Tompkins County, launched her candidacy for O’Mara’s seat around 58th Senatorial District. You may remember that Leslie ran in the Democratic Primary in 2012 and came in second of three candidates, losing to Nate Shinagawa.
As a daughter of farmers and a mother of two, the issues Leslie will focus on are Jobs, Farms, and Schools. She will fight to have Upstate receive a fair shake from Albany.
The following is Leslie’s Hornell campaign announcement:
Leslie plans to be a full time Legislator. She is not taking this campaign lightly; she is already working hard. On Tuesday, January 19 she announced that her campaign has quietly raised over $172,000, which is more than three times the amount of money any State Senate challenger had raised by this point in the previous election. In the same time period, Sen. O’Mara raised $3,250. Since in his last two campaigns he was unopposed, O’Mara has more than $216,000 in his campaign account.
This race is important:
- there are 31 republicans and 31 democrats (with one vacant seat) in the NYS Senate. If one republican is replaced by a democrat, the Senate would be “blue”, just like the Assembly. The NYS Republican establishment will be pouring money into this race.
- having a contested race with dedicated, active candidates will get more voters out in November, and being a presidential election democrats will be swarming to the polls. Having Leslie running can only help John Plumb in his race against Tom Reed.
Contested State Senate and Assembly races are rare in the NY 23rd. In the 2014 State elections held in the NY23rd, only one State Senate race out of five was contested–Incumbent Tom Libous defeated his Democratic challenger, Andrea Starzak in the 52nd Senatorial Destrict (which includes Tioga County). There was also only one Assembly race in the NY23rd contested–Andrew Goodell defeated Barrie Yochim in the 150th Assembly District which consists of Chautauqua County. The other four Assembly races in the NY23rd were uncontested.
The New NY23rd will be following the O’Mara-Danks Burke race closely, looking at the issues, platforms and O’Mara’s record. If other races are contested we will follow those, too. Please keep the New NY23rd updated with information about possible State races. Knowledge is power.
Listen to Leslie’s WHCU (95.9fm) Interview