Native New Yorker and Owego-Apalachin and SUNY schools graduate Irena Raia has announced she will run for Tioga County Legislature in District 1 this year.
Raia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communications, Public Relations and American Studies from SUNY Fredonia in 2013. She currently lives in Campville with her husband and works in education for Cornell University as a course and media coordinator.
Raia serves on the Tioga County Democratic Committee as representative for her district and as chair of the communications sub-committee.
A self-described Millennial homeowner and taxpayer, Raia believes the established local political scene and its payers have had more than enough time to become inclusive and forward thinking.
“I could have taken one look at our census data and concluded that even though I loved growing up here, Tioga County was not the place for me to build a future—because that census data shows that even though 54% of the active voters in this county are registered either as Democrats, Working Families Party, or unaffiliated, every single one of our county level officials are Republican, only two are women, and none are under 50, and that it’s been this way for a very long time,” she states on her campaign website, runwithraia.com.
One of Raia’s main goals is to modernize local government communication in order to increase community participation and civic engagement and to ensure the future of Tioga County is shaped by those who will inherit it.
Her platform also focuses on ensuring accessibility to local government for the disabled and homebound through continued hybrid online/in-person meetings and increased representation for women and people under 50 years old in local politics.
Raia will run against Republican opponent Ron Ciotoli. Elections will be held on Nov. 2, 2021.