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51st Senate District candidates prepare for primary

By HILARY LANE

ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - For the first time in decades, a Republican candidate is challenging the incumbent in the 51st District Senate Primary.

Political newcomer Jim Blake will be running against Senator James Seward, who has been in office for the past 26 years.

Seward said he is running for re-election because he wants to continue improving the quality of life for residents in his district.

"I have been a big proponent of particularly low wealth school districts and fire departments and libraries," said Seward. "All of the elements that make our communities tick. I have been there fully supporting them."

If re-elected, Seward says he will focus on supporting legislation that creates jobs, promotes economic growth, and provides widespread mandate relief.

Jim Blake, who is challenging the incumbent, has been involved behind the scenes in political races before, but this is his first time he has run for office.

Blake has five children and says he wants to ensure a healthy future for them in New York State.

He supports lowering property taxes to stimulate the economy and term limits for politicians.

"That way, you get citizen legislators, not career politicians saying what they need to say to keep in the position," said Blake. "If you know you are going to be there for two terms, for example, you are probably going to care more about what you are going to do for your constituents."

The New York State Senate and Assembly Primary Election will be held September 13.

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