Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs was surrounded by supporters on Friday as he announced his candidacy for the 60th District in the State Senate. “We need an Albany that makes the right decisions for Erie County," Jacobs said.
Jacob’s platform is still taking shape. But he said term limits is something he plans to support, if elected. “If you see some of the major scandals that have happened in Albany, I think two common strands that you see is it's somebody that's been in office for a long time and in leadership.”
Jacobs said he'll also fight for infrastructure funding for roads, bridges and sewers in the 60th District. “It manifests itself when people cannot swim by our beaches. I want kids to not just stand on the beach and look at the water but actually go in the water and swim,” Jacobs said.
The race is expected to receive a lot of attention statewide. Currently, the Senate is made up of 31 Republicans and 31 Democrats. The 60th seat could be a tie breaker. Jacobs said it's imperative the GOP has control. “If that voice is lost in the Senate, that ability to keep parity between downstate and upstate will get that much harder.”
The Erie County Democratic Committee had endorsed Senator Marc Panepinto. But he recently announced he will not seek reelection. The committee hasn't endorsed anyone else, yet. So far, Amber Small is the only Democrat to throw her hat in the ring.
Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan is also contemplating a run. He expects to make a decision by the end of April. “It's something I'm carefully looking at and considering and we're going to probably go through in the next two to three weeks and figure this out.”
Democrats have an enrollment advantage. According to the Erie County Board of Elections, in 2015 there were 83,912 registered Democrats, compared to 49,803 registered Republicans.