ITHACA, N.Y. — Dryden Town Supervisor and Ithaca-based attorney Jason Leifer has announced that he will be running for the New York State Assembly in the 125th district, days after nine-term Assemblymember Barbara Lifton announced her retirement.
“Tompkins and Cortland Counties have a strong tradition of progressive representation in Albany, and I believe that I have the experience and principles to continue that tradition,” said Leifer in a statement late Monday. “I am running because I want to bring to Albany my experience advocating for our community as Dryden Town Supervisor and as a local attorney. If elected, I will continue working for economic security and good local jobs, fighting to protect our environment, and bringing greater equality and fairness to our upstate rural communities.”
Since being elected to the Dryden Town Board in 2008, Leifer says that he has advocated for the expansion of rural broadband and has been instrumental in trying to bring municipal-owned internet to Dryden. He has also advocated for the NY Health Act and the banning of fracking.
Leifer says that, as a town supervisor and as an attorney, he has seen first hand the impacts of the opioid epidemic and understands “the need for rehabilitative services over punitive measures,” in alleviating the problem.
“Addressing our local issues at the state level requires vision, experience, and an established record of action and success — all of which I have,” said Leifer. “If elected, I know I can get our state government to listen better and work more closely with our counties, cities, towns, and villages to improve the lives of all residents.”
Leifer has served on the Tompkins County Legislature’s Criminal Justice Alternatives to Incarceration Board, the Advisory Board on Indigent Representation and Tompkins County District Courts Taskforce, which studied the possibility of consolidating local justice courts into a single district court.
He has served on Dryden’s Town Board for a total of 10 years and from 2012 to 2015, as Dryden’s Deputy Town Supervisor. He was first elected supervisor in 2016.
He is a member of the Tompkins County Bar Association and is also licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Jason attended New York Law School in the evening while working full time at Ahmuty, Demers, and McManus. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1992 with a dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English Literature and Radio, Television, and Film.
He is a member of the local Kiwanis Club, the Ithaca Rotary Club, and has coached little league baseball.
Since 2016, he has volunteered to present the legal module of the Parents Apart Program hosted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.
Leifer joined City of Ithaca Alderperson Seph Murtagh in the primary, who announced he would be running on Monday.
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