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Senate, Assembly Candidates Discuss Platforms in Debate at SUNY Oneonta

The League of Women Voters hosted two debates, a 121st Assembly District debate and the only State Senate debate, Wednesday at SUNY Oneonta.

The first debate was the candidates for New York State’s 121st Assembly District, Republican challenger Levi Spires and Democrat incumbent Assemblymen Bill Magee.

Spires pointed remarks included telling the audience and those watching on television that Magee has spent 22 years in office, yet the region has lost businesses, jobs, and young residents have left in droves.

Assemblymen Magee, who for the past 12 years has served as chairman of the Assembly Agricultural Committee, countered by saying he’s hopeful for dairy farms expansion with the success of the yogurt production in the state. Magee said that he believes he has made a difference in his 22 years and that there is more work to be done in another term.

The second debate was between the candidates for the 51st New York State’s Senate District, Democrat challenger Howard Leib and Republican incumbent Senator James Seward.

Leib, an educator and attorney from Ithaca, said that one of the reasons he is running against Seward is to, at the very least, challenge the senator. Two years ago Seward ran unopposed. Leib feels that is not how democracy should work and that people need a choice for issues to be discussed and debated, like Wednesday night.

Senator Seward, from Milford, said as a lifelong resident of Otsego County, he believes he understands the needs of the people who live in this area. He has been able to help secure funding in this area for the colleges, local hospitals and other businesses which in turn helps create jobs.

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