Schoharie Farmer, Businessman Challenges Seward For State Senate Seat


Updated: 12/3/19 – 11:20 A.M.

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – A Schoharie County farmer is challenging long-time State Senator James Seward in next year’s election.

Jim Barber is a fifth-generation farmer. He has been the state director of the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Barber described himself as an independent and plans to run for the Democratic nomination.* In the 2018 midterms he endorsed Democrat Antonio Delgado for Congress.

Courtesy Jim Barber for State Senate

Seward has served in the state senate since 1987. Last month, he announced he’s undergoing treatment for cancer. This will be his second treatment for cancer. He was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2016.

The 51st is a sprawling district that stretches from Ulster County in the east to Tompkins County in the west. Along with part of Tompkins, Cayuga, Chenango, Delaware Counties, it also includes all of Otsego and Cortland Counties.

* Updated to reflect Barber’s intention to run on the Democratic line.