ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick endorsed City Alderman Seph Murtagh to replace Barbara Lifton in the State Assembly on Thursday.
Earlier this month, Lifton announced that she will not seek another term in New York’s 125th Assembly District, which includes all of Tompkins and part of Cortland Counties.
Myrick said Murtagh is the best candidate to further the interests of Ithaca, the largest city in the district.
“We need somebody who’s Progressive. Who’s going to champion the environment,” Myrick said. “Somebody who’s going to fight for more affordable housing and lower taxes.”
In his remarks, Murtagh referred to several issues facing local governments across New York from crumbling roads and bridges to climate change.
“Cities and local communities, local governments can’t do this alone on their own,” he said. “They need the help of the state of New York.”
Murtagh also addressed current disputes in the legislature over bail reform and the Green Light Law. He supports both, but said revisions to the bail reform laws might be possible.
“If there are any changes, particularly to detaining people, because of a threat to public safety, I think it should be done in a manner that is objective, that takes into account bias and is transparent,” Murtagh explained.
Of the Green Light Law, Murtagh called recent actions by the Trump Administration, to block New Yorkers from enrolling in Trusted Traveler Programs, disgraceful. He said he strongly supports the law.
“It’s particularly meaningful for upstate New York, including rural areas of the 125th Assembly district, where people can only get round by car,” said Murtagh.
Murtagh faces six other Democrats vying for the party nomination. The deadline to file petitions is in April.