ITHACA, N.Y.— A fourth contender has announced for the Democratic Primary in the 125th Assembly District, with Cortland County Legislator Beau Harbin announcing his candidacy Monday morning.
Harbin, the minority leader in the Cortland County Legislature, says he has the best chance of carrying on the legacy of the retiring Barbara Lifton.
“As I listened to Barbara Lifton make her announcement that she was not seeking another term as our Assemblywoman, I was struck by the incredible legacy of leadership and progressive values she has left on our district,” Harbin said in his announcement. “She has done many things for our community and fought many fights to help make our region and our state better. I knew then that her legacy needed to continue with someone dedicated to these same values.”
Harbin believes that a strong voice is needed in Albany to help redirect priorities he says have focused on downstate for too long. He suggests the state prioritize expanding and investing in childcare and universal pre-K education for all NY children, reforms to education funding, ensuring rural broadband expansion, expansion and investment in affordable housing through renovation of older housing stock or smart development of new affordable housing and passing healthcare for all New Yorkers through the New York Health Act.
“So many of these critical needs for our district are not being addressed or are being lost in the voices from downstate,” Harbin says. “I will be our vocal advocate in Albany to bring attention to these issues and will work hard to make sure our community is well represented.”
Harbin was born in Flint, Michigan, raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has live in Cortland for the last 12 years. He has worked for more than 20 years as an IT leader and is currently managing an international team of consultants and a global training operation for an international software company, he said in his announcement. His wife Andrea is a faculty member at SUNY Cortland.
Since moving here, Harbin says he has become deeply involved in the community, twice serving as president of the parent’s organization at his children’s school, as vice-chair of the Cortland City Zoning Board of Appeals before running for the County Legislature, winning his seat twice and was recently selected as the minority leader of the Cortland County Legislature’s Democrats. Harbin is also currently a board member for both the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cortland County and the Cortland County Planning Board, as well as serving as the Vice Chair for the Southern Tier 8 Regional Planning Board.
Harbin joins City of Ithaca Alderperson Seph Murtagh, Dryden Town Supervisor Jason Leifer and Tompkins County Legislator Anna Kelles in the race for the seat.
Petitions to appear on the ballot will begin circulating on Feb. 25 and are due to the Board of Elections between March 30 and April 2. The primary election will take place June 23 ahead of the general election on Nov. 3