For 17 elections and two primaries, the people of the 51st Senate district have placed their trust in Jim Seward. Now after 34 years, he's saying goodbye to politics, and hello to retirement. Seward made the announcement last January due to ongoing cancer treatments. 2020 also through another challenge at the Senator. He was hospitalized for COVID and recovered.
Seward said his interest in public service began when he was young. In grade school, Seward said he was always interested in what was happening across his community and across the world.
"I thought it would be more helpful and it would have more impact to get a seat at the table where decisions are being made," said Seward.
In 1986, the people then decided to place their trust in 35-year-old Seward by electing him as a New York State Senator. He then began his commitment to trying to make his community a better place. Seward worked to improve our area's economy and Infrastructure. He even helped give people a break on their taxes.
"I derived a great deal of satisfaction with helping people as a Senator. The number one complaint I've heard is high property taxes, in particular, school taxes. So I was very pleased to have been apart of the effort to enact the Star Program. I received letters from a number of senior citizens saying that said the only reason they could stay in their homes, was because of the star program," said Seward.
But out of those 34 years of service, Seward said there was one thing he wished he could accomplish.
"A source of frustration for me is that we have not been able to reverse the source of the out-migration from New York State yet. I certainly hope that my successor and legislators and even within the administration will take up that cause because that is a very disturbing trend," said Seward
Seward would like to thanks all of his constituents for showing their support to him. He said "Serving you has been the honor of a lifetime.
Republican Peter Oberacker will succeed Seward. Oberacker will be sworn in in January.