Senator Seward officially announces re-election bid

Seward files more than 5,500 nominating signatures for three party lines

ONEONTA, N.Y. - State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) has filed more than 5,500 signatures on nominating petitions for re-election as state senator representing the 51st senatorial district.

Seward filed 4,522 signatures for the Republican party nomination; 712 for the Independence party nod and 326 for the Conservative party designation.

“I am truly energized by the outpouring of support I have received for my candidacy,” said Seward. “As I meet with people from across the seven county district I am excited to hear the astounding level of support- it is the enthusiastic encouragement from the constituents that keeps me going.

“New York, especially the upstate region, is faced with a great number of challenges and the broken system in Albany is not offering any suitable solutions. Those who have been in power the past two years have failed to respond to the real world problems our working families, small business owners and senior citizens face every day. I am deeply disturbed by the lack of urgency and understanding constantly displayed by too many state leaders.

“Now, more than ever, Albany needs leaders with a proven track record who can also offer innovative new ideas to reinvigorate our state. I have both the experience and the vision to move our state forward.”

Sheila Ross, Otsego County Republican chairman, said “While many state officials have sided with special interests, Jim Seward has remained true to the families and individuals who live and work in the 51st senate district. He has been a friend of our fire departments, sportsmen and snowmobilers, and he makes sure that our rural schools have the means to educate our students. Otsego County is proud of Senator Seward, and we will have a very good turn out to re-elect him this year.”

“When it comes to protecting his constituents, Senator Jim Seward is the first to join the fight. Whether it is standing up for a small rural county in a fight against New York City over flood control at the Gilboa Dam, or for a constituent battling a big insurance company, Jim Seward is who you want in your corner. Schoharie County is excited to help Jim Seward get on the ballot again for November, and back in Albany in 2011,” said Lew Wilson, Schoharie County Republican chairman.

“Senator Seward may represent a small part of Chenango County, but he knows our citizens well and understands their concerns. He has backed meaningful property tax relief, supported our schools, and was among the first to join the fight against the NYRI power line. Come November, Jim Seward will have a big win and help return the senate to the Republicans, ending one party rule and restoring the checks and balances we need in Albany,” said Tom Morrone Chenango County Republican chairman.

Seward was first elected in 1986 and has been a strong advocate for the communities he represents. He is known for championing firefighters’ needs, helping local governments and partnering with local IDAs and communities to promote business growth and development. Seward has also ensured that communities he represents are not left out in funding for economic development, infrastructure and quality of life enhancements.

Seward has fought for the agricultural industry as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, winning aid for the state’s dairy farmers and helping develop and fund life-saving farm safety initiatives. He has also called on the state attorney general to launch a full scale investigation into the dairy industry with particular attention toward possible violations of price gouging and/or anti competitive laws.

As a past chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, Seward has promoted legislation to expand the availability and accessibility of health insurance, winning laws that help small business owners and expand coverage for young, uninsured individuals. Seward has also sponsored health insurance reforms that will provide premium relief and extend health insurance to volunteer firefighters and EMTs.

Job creation has been a key priority for Senator Seward and he has won passage for several economic development tools to help businesses of all sizes across the state. He is continuing to tout additional methods to jumpstart growth including job creating tax credits, the elimination of certain small business taxes, and a moratorium on new taxes, fees and regulations.

Seward is also calling for a spending cap to shut down out of control state spending; much needed Medicaid reforms to root out fraud and achieve needed savings; and consolidation of state agencies and commissions to maximize efficiencies in state government.

Property tax relief is also a primary concern for Senator Seward. He helped usher in the historic School Tax Relief (STAR) program and was a key architect of the STAR rebate program which provided homeowners which much needed tax relief. The rebate program was killed off by the governor and legislative Democrats in 2009 and no substitute has been offered. Senator Seward has also voted for a cap on school property tax increases and favored mandate relief to help school districts deal with rising costs.

Seward is also a strong proponent of government reform, sponsoring legislation calling for a state constitutional convention. The closed door state budget process, lack of a state spending cap and unfunded mandates on schools and local governments are all issues that could be considered by citizen delegates. A constitutional convention would give the people of the state a true voice in reforming Albany.

“Over the last two years, one party rule in Albany has led to record state spending, overwhelming new taxes and fees, and an exodus of our small businesses. I have consistently opposed the proposals offered by out of touch politicians and have been able to block measures that would force New Yorkers to dig even deeper into their wallets. I will continue to stand up for our upstate families and businesses.

“I look forward to continuing to partner with local officials and community leaders to meet the needs of those of live and work in our beautiful stretch of central New York. I believe the stage is set for state government on the whole, and the senate in particular to shift gears and usher in landmark changes that will reinvigorate the Empire State,” Seward concluded.

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