Dryden Town Supervisor Jason Leifer has announced that he will seek the New York State Assembly seat that opened up when long-time Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton announced she would not be seeking a 10th term last week.
Leifer has been the Dryden Town Supervisor since 2015, and before that served on the Dryden Town Board for eight years. Leifer's primary occupation is as a lawyer in downtown Ithaca. He joins Ithaca Common Council member Seph Murtagh in the race for the Democratic nomination to replace Lifton.
"Tompkins and Cortland Counties have a strong tradition of progressive representation in Albany, and I believe that I have the experience and principles to continue that tradition," Leifer wrote in his announcement. "I am running because I want to bring to Albany my experience advocating for our community as Dryden Town Supervisor and as a local attorney. If elected, I will continue working for economic security and good local jobs, fighting to protect our environment, and bringing greater equality and fairness to our upstate rural communities."
One of Leifer's more prominent efforts, which has taken shape over the last eight months or so, has been to bring municipal broadband internet to the Town of Dryden, which would theoretically free the town from the grips of Spectrum. According to recent study results, it would also bring in millions for the town annually after the first decade, though it would cost over $10 million in up-front construction costs.
"It continues," Leifer said of the broadband effort, both during his campaign and if he is elected. "If I'm elected I'll look to expand it beyond Dryden. It's one of the reasons that I am running."
Leifer also touted his ability to secure money at the state level, as well as his experience trying to get the upstate community of Dryden recognition at the state level; a seat at the table, so to speak.
"Addressing our local issues at the state level requires vision, experience, and an established record of action and success--all of which I have," Leifer wrote. "If elected, I know I can get our State Government to listen better and work more closely with our Counties, Cities, Towns, and Villages to improve the lives of all of residents. I have promoted teamwork across municipalities throughout my career and would continue to do so as Representative for our Assembly District."