November 3, 2010
Lifton re-elected to fifth Assembly term
Ithaca Democrat fends off Republican challenger who pushed for reform of Albany
ITHACA — Barbara Lifton pledged to work toward bringing more unity to state government after being elected Tuesday to her fifth term representing the 125th Assembly District.
Lifton, a Democrat, won the race against Republican Tom Reynolds with 65 percent of the vote in unofficial results.
The incumbent and her challenger from Newfield had displayed stark differences in their stances on issues.
Lifton talked mostly about her work on the environment, civil rights and stronger education. Reynolds focused his campaign on improving the state’s economic condition and pushing more accountability with government spending.
Reynolds won narrowly in Cortland County, with 3,503 votes to Lifton’s 3,484.
“In this race the choices were very clear, the differences were stark,” Lifton saidin a speech to her supporters at the Holiday Inn downtown.
But working past the political divide in Albany will be the only way to accomplish what matters to the people, she added.
“I pledge to you … through this tough year we had and the tough years ahead, to work in Albany to build that hopeful future,” Lifton said.
Lifton said she would not only keep pushing to improve the condition of schools, but also for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s study of the controversial drilling process is complete.
“When you look at the whole extraction process, it’s not at all clear it’s safer, that it’s greener,” she said. “We should stop and halt drilling until we have that study to determine the effect of it.”
Reynolds, a Newfield resident, was seeking election for the first time. During the campaign, Reynolds repeatedly stated his dissatisfaction with the current workings of Albany politics and a change of thinking was due.
Reynolds was unavailable to comment on the outcome of the race, but said in an interview earlier Tuesday evening at the Royal Court Restaurant that he found running his first race an interesting experience.
“Not being a politician, I think is a big thing,” he said. “My background has been in business.”
Reynolds had cited his past experience working as financial officer at Elmira College and in other business venues in his ability to overcome the state’s budget deficit and the economy as a whole, if elected.
“I know we need to improve business in New York state,” he said. “I don’t have to read about it, I’ve lived it.”
Lifton has served on the state Assembly for eight years.
123rd Assembly District — Republican Gary Finch of Springport was re-elected without opposition. He represents part of Cortland County along with southern Cayuga County.
129th Assembly District — Republican Brian Kolb of Canandaigua was re-elected without opposition. He district includes the town of Preble.
51st Senate District — Republican James Seward of Milford was re-elected without opposition. He represents Cortland County and part of Tompkins County.
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