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51st state Senate District

Both Parties Should Find Candidates Who Will  Ensure Local Successor To Seward

EDITORIAL

Both Parties Should Find

Candidates Who Will  Ensure

Local Successor To Seward

Peter Oberacker makes the case for a county administrator at a county board hearing last fall in Oneonta City Hall. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

This story’s been related in this space before: Congressman Tim Holden, a Democrat from Pennsylvania’s anthracite county, used to tell campaign crowds: “I’m the only one of 435 Congressmen who gets up every morning and says to himself, ‘What can I do for Schuylkill County today?’”

It’s also said that if you don’t appreciate what you have, you lose it.”

The vignette and the aphorism are germane today, with the prospective year-end retirement of state Sen. Jim Seward,
R-Milford, and now, with the emergence of county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, as his prospective successor – and, so far, his only prospective successor from Otsego County.

Oberacker put it well: “It’s been reassuring to have a state senator who knows us by name.”

If he knows us by name, he greets us on the street, he listens to our opinions and, when we need his help, he responds.

To Otsego County citizens, there is no greater issue in this fall’s election than to keep the 51st State Senate District represented by a local man or woman. (Wait, wait: After all, regardless of how the county votes, New York State will go for the as-yet-unnamed Democrat.)

In last week’s article on Republican Assemblyman Chris Tague’s prospective run for the 51st, it was pointed out that no mention was made of Jim Barber, the Schoharie farmer and son of former Ag & Markets Commissioner J. Roger Barber, the prospective Democratic standard bearer.

In our defense, that part of the article dealt with trying to identify in-county successors to Jim Seward.

But we’ll admit that Barber simply didn’t figure in our, granted, somewhat parochial, ruminations.

Of course, former Oneonta Mayor John Nader, now SUNY Farmingdale president, came to mind, as did the charismatic Dan Crowell, former county treasurer and a military man.

Mayors Herzig of Oneonta and Tillapaugh of Cooperstown are prospects and, even moreso, Tillapaugh’s predecessor, Jeff Katz, still in his 50s and with plenty of brains and drive.

Come on, Democrats, put your best (local) foot forward.

Regardless, Peter Oberacker is a fine prospect.

On the one hand, he’s got a down-home personality, a friendly smile and welcoming demeanor.

He’s easy for everyone to talk to, evident in his repeated election in the Town of Maryland and, now from his Maryland/Westford, Worcester/Decatur district on the county board.

On the other hand, he can operate in sophisticated circles as well, working for Fortune 500 U.S. companies and German food-processor Budenheim.

He’d be equally comfortable on the sidewalks of Edmeston and Albany’s plush Senate chambers.

Plus, he has ideas and the oomph to move them forward, evident in championing the 30-job distribution center on Schenevus’ I-88 exit.

Let’s get behind an Otsego County successor to Senator Seward.

So far, Oberacker’s the only one. Other ones may emerge. But if they don’t, he’ll do fine.

Oberacker Explores Running For Senate To Succeed Seward

TAGUE DROPS OUT OF RACE

Oberacker Explores

Running For Senate

To Succeed Seward

Peter Oberacker

SCHENEVUS – County Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, who is also president of  FormTech Solutions, a national food research consultancy, is exploring running for the 51st District state Senate seat to succeed James L. Seward, he said yesterday.

Last evening, Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, considered the front-runner for the nomination. pulled out, saying he has commitments to fulfill in his 102nd District job.

Otsego County GOP Chairman Vince Casale said he will be introducing Oberacker to other county chairmen in the nine-county district over the next two weeks to firm up support for the candidate.

FULL REPORT IN FREEMAN’S JOURNAL,
HOMETOWN ONEONTA, ON STANDS TODAY
Barber Announces Run For NY Senate

Barber Announces

Run For NY Senate

Schoharie Farmer Challenges Seward

Schoharie County farmer Jim Barber, left, was joined by Congressman Paul Tonko at Barber’s announcement Saturday that he’s running for state Senate. In the center is Barber’s wife Cindy.

MIDDLEBURGH – A fifth-generation farmer and son of a former state Ag & Markets commissioner announced here Saturday he’s seeking the Democratic nomination to run for state Senate in the 10-county 51st District, which includes Otsego County.

In he wins the nomination, Jim Barber would challenge state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, next fall.

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