Family Farmer Enters Race For New York 51st Senate District

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ONEONTA, NY (WSKG) – Schoharie County business owner Jim Barber has announced his candidacy for New York State Senate. Barber, a 5th generation farmer and owner of Barber’s Farms, is running as a Democrat in the 51st district.  The seat is currently held by long-time Republican Senator James Seward from Otsego County.

On Saturday, surrounded by supporters at his family farm in Middleburgh, NY, Democrat Jim Barber announced his candidacy for the New York Senate. (Jared Stanley/WSKG)

On Saturday, surrounded by supporters at his family farm in Middleburgh, NY, Barber explained why he is the best candidate to represent the sprawling district.

“I will be the only full-time farmer serving in the state senate” Barber said. “A lifetime of working with my hands, managing daily challenges and finding creative solutions, that’s given me the tools I need to be your representative in the Senate.”

Jim Barber Barber, a 5th generation farmer and owner of Barber’s Farms, is running as a Democrat in the 51st district. (Jared Stanley/WSKG)

A spokesperson for Senator Seward’s office says the senator fully intends to run for re-election, and that a formal announcement will come soon.

“Senator Seward looks forward to continuing to serve the people of the 51st Senate District and has a number of initiatives he is eager to pursue – helping small businesses, keeping taxes and state spending in check, and ensuring upstate has a strong voice in Albany.”

Last month, the senator made public that he is undergoing treatment for a recurrence of cancer. Seward has served in the New York Senate since 1987.

Senate district 51 covers all of Otsego, and Cortland counties, and parts of Ulster, Herkimer, Delaware, Chenango, Cayuga and Tompkins counties.