The Madison County Democratic Committee met March 3; after routine business, Sen. David Valesky spoke, noting that this was the seventh time he had asked for the Committee’s endorsement as he runs for reelection in November, now representing the 53rd New York Senatorial District. He said the state “has come a long way” from its earlier reputation for dysfunction and talked about his work on health and education, the state’s largest budgeted items.Valesky commented on this year’s “high-profile issues”: paid
Valesky said this year’s “high-profile issues” include paid family leave, minimum wage, and efforts toward Madison County receiving benefits from the gaming industry since it now is a host county. Committee members raised questions about these topics, focusing especially on need for further progress in adequate and equitable support.
Assemblyman Bill Magee then was introduced for his fourteenth appeal for endorsement for re-election to represent the 121st Assembly District. He reported on his work as chair of the state Agriculture Committee and his service on the Higher Education, Aging and Banks committees. Magee urged recognition that “whether we like it or not, there is an upstate and downstate” and that he is looked to by “downstate” for rural and agricultural expertise.
Discussion followed questions about his current thinking about the minimum wage. Magee recognized the need for a living wage, but that it is difficult for non-profits and the agricultural community to sustain a minimum comparable to some urban areas.
Valesky and Magee were endorsed by the Committee by acclamation.
Kim A. Myers was the only Congressional candidate who accepted invitation to the meeting. Myers is a Broome county legislator from Vestal. She introduced herself as having grown up working in a family business and knowing what it is like for a family to struggle. A graduate of SUNY Cortland, from childhood she had always worked in the business started by her father and, as an adult, together with her brother, participated in the growth of Dick’s Sporting Goods and Clothing nation-wide.
She also started a related but independent business dealing with children’s clothing and toys. Myers served 18 years on the Vestal School Board, nine of those as its president, and thus presented herself as used to controversy. She also has had extensive experience on various community boards, applying two lessons learned from her father: “There is no such thing as ‘can’t.’” and “Don’t forget where you came from.”
Committee members asked for examples of how Myers would pursue the major goals she identified: job creation and attracting new businesses. Myers said common sense solutions can be found by consulting experts and creating laws that make sense, whether addressing climate change, health care, women’s health care, hydraulic fracturing, the federal minimum wage or gun control.
Myers reported her endorsement in the congressional race by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as well as by Senators Gillibrand and Schumer. The Committee unanimously added its endorsement to theirs.