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Dryden Town Supervisor Joins Race for Lifton Assembly Seat

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) - Jason Leifer, Dryden Town Supervisor and Ithaca attorney, will run for Barbara Lifton's state Assembly seat.

Lifton announced she will not seek re-election after this year.

Leifer has been town supervisor since 2015 and was a member of the Dryden Town Board from 2008-2015. Dryden is located north of Ithaca.

Leifer said he intends to continue a tradition of progressive representation in the district.

As for his experience, he cites his years in Dryden town government and his anti-fracking efforts. The town was sued by gas companies and eventually won the right to zone fracking out of its jurisdiction.

Leifer lists a need to reduce upstate property taxes, increase  funding for rural schools and expand access to healthcare. He also supports the single payer plan called the New York Health Act.

He said his years as an attorney with the Tompkins County Assigned Counsel program have helped him to understand the effects of opiate and opioid abuse.

"We must do more to address the opiate crisis with meaningful solutions that will help people overcome their addictions, create a path away from the jails and into recovery," he said, "and provide a support system for people to take care of themselves and their families."

First, he must win the Democratic Party nomination. Leifer will compete against Seph Murtagh, a Lifton staffer and Ithaca Common Council member. Murtagh announced his candidacy Monday.

The 125th Assembly district covers all of Tompkins County and other parts of Cortland County including the city of Cortland.