Broome County has a new executive. Democrat Jason Garnar beat incumbent Republican Debbie Preston by almost a thousand votes, but Republicans still won a majority of the county’s legislative seats.
Garnar said party collaboration is key in addressing the issues affecting the county.
“If we’re going to move Broome County in the right direction, we’re going to need to work together and end this partisan bickering,” he said. “This is the local level. We’re not building walls. We’re not fighting ISIS. We’re taking care of our infrastructure. We’re trying to create jobs and fight the heroin epidemic. These are all important things that really have very little to do with political ideology.”
Debbie Preston has served as Broome County executive for almost five years. In a statement, she wished Garnar luck in the ‘challenging job.’
Republican Party Chairman Bijoy Datta says retaining those Republican seats in legislature will balance Garnar’s position.
“That’s really what we care about the most,” said Datta, “that we have good solid Republican leadership still in the county in order to keep taxes down and create an environment where we can maintain and create jobs. So, we are proud to have the county legislature and we look forward to working together.
Garnar said he’s exhausted from campaigning but doesn’t intend to rest now. He plans to start addressing certain issues–like the Greater Binghamton Airport’s recent downsize–right away.
“We’ve lost two airlines,” he explained on election night. “I’ve got a number of business people who want to meet with me tomorrow and come up with a plan of action on how to save our airport. We just can’t even wait until January 1st to work on it. We are starting work on it tomorrow.”
Garnar, who was a county legislator for 9 years, said he will restore honesty and dignity to the executive office.