For the first time in the short history of the NY23rd Congressional District, four (out of six) State Senate districts which are fully or partly located in the NY23rd will have a real competitive race (with a Republican AND a Democratic candidate) in November. That means more than 95% of the NY 23rd voters will have another reason to get out to vote on November 8. Those who will not have a competitive Senate race will be the residents of Tioga County and the Town of Naples (Ontario County), which has a small portion in our Congressional District.
The only Senatorial District that is fully in the NY 23rd is the 58th. It includes the counties of Chemung, Schulyler, Steuben, and Yates; the Towns of Enfield, Ithaca, Newfield and Ulysses in Tompkins. (Map of the 58th District)
Leslie Danks Burke announced her candidacy against incumbent Tom O’mara in January. The issues she is focusing on are Jobs, Farms, and Education. The New NY23rd has discussed her and her campaign in numerous articles. Visit Leslie’s website and Facebook page to get information about what drives her to want to represent us.
The 57th Senatorial District covers all of the NY23rd counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua. It also has a small part of Livingston and Ontario Counties, which not part of the 23rd. (Map of the 57th District)
Lee Hyson from Salamanca, is running for the Senate from the 57th District. His opponent is six term Senator Cathy Young. Hyson, a Mechanical Engineer, brings with him ten years of experience managing projects and personnel in the Energy Industry, including off shore oil drilling and Marcellus fracking sites. As a hunter and gun owner Lee is concerned about the environment and the SAFE Act. Other issues he sees that needs serious attention are education, the Opioid Crisis, Women Equality and State Ethics reform.
The 54th Senatorial District consists of Seneca County, Ontario County Towns of Manchester, Hopewell, Gorham, Phelps, and Geneva. It also includes the Town of Lansing in Tompkins County plus all of Cayuga County (which is not in the NY23rd.) (Map of the 54th District)
Kenan Baldridge, Supervisor of the Town of Rose in Cayuga County is a democrat running for an open seat due to the retirement of State Senator Michael Nozzolio. Baldridge hold Masters Degrees in Public Affairs and in Public Administration and has worked in the Health Industry as an administrator. He sees Ethics reform in Albany as an important issue for the Senate undertake.
Another democrat, Charles Evangelista, a longtime Ontario County Supervisor, announced Friday, June 3 that he will also be passing petitions to run for the State Senate seat. If both candidates file the proper number of signature, they will both be on the Primary Ballot in September.
(BTW, Six Republicans have announced that they are trying to be on the GOP September 13 Primary for the open seat).
The 51st Senatorial District includes only four NY23rd Towns (Towns of Groton, Carolina, Danby and Dryden in Tompkins County). It then spreads east to include all of Cortland, Otsego, Schoharie Counties and parts of Chenango and Ulster counties. (Map of the 51st District)
There may be a rare Democratic Primary vote in the 51st Senatorial District since two Dems have announced they intend to run against 14-term Incumbent James Steward. Both Audrey Dunning of Ilion, and Jermaine Bagnall-Graham of Sherburne will be passing petitions to be the democratic candidate. If they both turn in the the needed petitions, they will be on the September 13 Primary Ballot. The Primary winer will be the official democratic candidate.
Dunning, an attorney, has mentioned her concerns with education, the state’s health insurance exchange and transparency in the budget process helped her decide to run. Bangtail-Graham, an Army Veteran and now a system analyst in a Healthcare Network, feels that it is a time for a change and points to the Steward’s long history as an Albany-insider. He pledges to be open and accessible.
Why is this important?
In New York Legislative bodies, the Upstate/Downstate split might be more important than the Republican/Democrat one. Presently there are only four Democratic Senators north of Westchester County. How well has the present Upstate GOP Senators secured legislation that benefited Upstate? Seeing that the levels of funding for education, infrastructure, and the environment have not been balanced (even by per capita) between Upstate and Downstate–I would say that we need to do better. We need new ideas from new legislators, and now we have the opportunity to help elect four new leaders to help Upstate.
Also we are not accustomed to having Democrats in down-ballot races. Voters are already fed up with the negativity we have heard just in the Presidential primary races; some have vowed to stay home in November. Having Leslie Danks Burke, Lee Hyson, either Kenan Baldridge-or-Charles Evangelista, and either Audrey Dunning-or-Jermaine Bagnall-Graham on the ballots should motivate more voters to participate in this election. Some voters will vote only for the President, and not the down ballot races. If voters come out to vote for the Senate candidates, it can only help congressional candidate John Plumb.
Not only do we need to have candidates on the ballot, we need to help their campaigns as much as we can. They will gladly accept donations, but they also need people to pass the word around about them and their goals. . The candidates, usually through the County Democratic Committee, will start passing their petitions beginning on Tuesday, June 7, and the candidates need to file them in Albany between July 11 and 14. Consider seeking out your candidate or County Chair so that you sign their petition. Better yet, volunteer to get a few signatures yourself.
The New NY 23rd will post articles and links to articles as the State Senate campaigns get fires up.