Robin Alpaugh and Sophia Resciniti face off for Binghamton Assembly District GOP nod
Robin Alpaugh currently works as Operations Director for State Senator Fred Akshar (R-52). Prior to joining Akshar’s office, Alpaugh served as Executive Director of the United Way of Broome County for about two years after a nearly 20-year career with Empire State Development, New York’s development arm.
Alpaugh discussed his candidacy and some policy views with WSKG’s Vaughn Golden.
Sophia Resciniti currently serves on Binghamton City Council. She was first appointed to the office to fill a vacancy in early 2018. Resciniti lost her bid to fill out the term in a special election later that year, but ran again and secured a full term in 2019. Resciniti is a licensed social worker and lectures at Binghamton University.
The winner of the June 28 primary will face off against incumbent Democratic Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-123) in the general election this fall.
Note: Both Robin Alpaugh and Sophia Resciniti were invited to participate in an approximately 30-minute interview to discuss their candidacy and views on various issues affecting the 123rd Assembly district. Resciniti declined an interview, citing scheduling conflicts. The following are summaries of a few of Alpaugh’s policy views.
On the Issues…
Alpaugh said he owns a gun and enjoys target shooting, but he agrees with recently passed legislation that raises the age for buying an assault weapon to 21-years-old.
“It's unfortunate because it's usually the law-abiding citizens that pay the price,” Alpaugh said about firearms legislation. “But in light of what's happening I absolutely support raising that age.”
Alpaugh said he generally wants to avoid restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, but added that he would support more resources for law enforcement agencies to ensure more effective background checks.
Climate Change Mitigation
Alpaugh said he’s generally supportive of the state’s efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental measures, but he’d like to slow down the process and limit how much the state is spending on these initiatives.
“Let's let the market dictate some of these things before the legislature goes out and dictates that ‘we will not sell anymore gas furnaces’ or ‘you must have a hot water heater that's electric,’” Alpaugh said.
He added that he believes the state should incentivize deployment of wind and solar, but it should not foot the bill for projects on its own.
Alpaugh said he believes the lack of affordable housing stock is one of the major issues facing the City of Binghamton. He thinks the state can help leverage new housing development, but that may involve demolishing older properties.
"I'm not in favor of fixing everything,” Alpaugh said about rundown properties. “Some things may need to come down and perhaps we need to invest more in new builds as opposed to renovations."
Alpaugh said available housing is something businesses consider when choosing to relocate to an area. Improving the availability in Binghamton, Alpaugh believes, would make the area more attractive to those companies.
Alpaugh said he would use his experience having worked with Empire State Development, New York’s economic development arm, to help try to attract and leverage state investments to encourage companies to set up shop in Broome County. He pointed to battery manufacturing as one area he would want to help grow.
"You know we have this great focus on energy, on battery production in Endicott with Binghamton University and all that's going on there,” Alpaugh said. “You know, why aren't we making the Tesla batteries in Broome County and Endicott? I want to make those calls to help drive that interest."
Alpaugh said he believes both making personal connections and leveraging public investments are keys to attracting businesses.