With all the buzz about national politics, please remember that everything is local as you step into that polling booth tomorrow. I am watching a series of races – local, state and national – for my area plus a few other races that have caught my eye throughout the last two or three months.
Locally, I am very interested in the Town of Union supervisor race. While Union is the largest municipality in Broome County and the 18th largest town in NYS, I do not believe that the best way to serve the population here is to do so with area-based representation. The Town of Union council currently consists of one supervisor and four council people – yes, I am slightly PC. There must be a reason that the majority of these council people live in one area of the town. That is not the issue. I believe that having four people who represent everyone in the town is better than a council of the same size – or possibly bigger as I have not heard the full proposal – where the council people represent a specific geographic area. I am afraid that such a proposal – and one town supervisor candidate is making this a big point in his advertisements and his debates – would tear the town apart.
I am also keenly watching the Broome County Executive race. The incumbent executive has blasted the local airwaves with advertising. I am truly sick of all her ads. I am also still annoyed with some decisions she has made throughout her four year tenure. I do believe that the challenger has put up a valiant fight. I am not sure how this race will play out.
Statewide races in my area are pretty much givens. Our state senator is running unopposed. My state assembly woman is also running unopposed. To find a race that I want to follow the results on, I turn to the Finger Lakes area. Incumbent Brian Kolb is running against Noah Sargent in the 129th Assembly district. Kolb is currently in his fourth term.
I am also extremely intrigued to see how candidates backed by Tom Golisano’s Responsible NY PAC end up in their respective elections. Golisano, having attempted runs for governor more than once, decided this past summer to put his money where his mouth is and start the Responsible NY PAC. The PAC backs candidates that will change the way Albany functions currently, with an emphasis on fiscal responsibility. Interesting enough, my state senator Tom Libous is endorsed but my state assemblywoman Donna Lupardo is not.
As I look to other states, I have a close eye to my south. I am watching two races in Pennsylvania. I am closely watching the PA Attorney General race between incumbent Jack Wagner and current Northampton County DA John Morganelli. I am also keeping a close watch on the PA 12th Congressional district race. Career politician and incumbent Jack Murtha is in a fight for his seat with William Russell.
I am also watching as a local and politically unknown teacher George Phillips is trying to unseat incumbent Maurice Hinchey. Phillips is trying to tread a thin line between political outsider while touting his experience having been an aide to Chris Smith of New Jersey when he served in Congress. Hinchey, on the other hand, has been in the House of Representatives for eight terms and served in the state Assembly for 18 years prior to that. Hinchey, while a career politician, did annoy the powerful in his party by voting against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. Granted, his thinking was that a smaller amount would be better to start but he did, and to me principle matters, stand his ground and vote against it twice.
So, regardless of what you think, what ideology you subscribe to, remember to get yourself to a voting booth tomorrow.