ITHACA, N.Y. — The field of Democrats seeking the New York State Assembly seat for the 125th district has grown again, this time with an Ithaca-based attorney and activist wading into the race.
Sujata Gibson, local activist and attorney, has announced she will run for the seat being vacated by the retiring Barbara Lifton. This announcement brings the field of Democrats that have announced for the seat to seven.
“I’m running because we are at a crisis point,” said Gibson in her announcement. “We do not have time for politics as usual. We can revitalize our economy with sustainable, well-paying jobs and help secure our future against the threats of climate change at the same time. We can make the radical shifts necessary to give food security, heat security, health care security and economic security to every New Yorker. We can do this and create good jobs. But we need someone like me who has the grit and the energy and the urgency to make it happen.”
Gibson says that her experience as a union organizer before she became a lawyer will inform how she will govern if elected. She says the years she spent knocking on doors, building movements and winning campaigns across New York are going to help her achieve change now.
“What I learned in the labor movement and in my work now as a movement lawyer, is that the only way real change is made is if the people rise up and demand it,” said Gibson. “We need someone in Albany who understands that, who can activate people to make demands, and who will carry those demands through to law without watering them down. I can do that.”
A native of Tompkins County, Gibson returned as an adult with her husband. She is a graduate of Lehman Alternative School, Tompkins Cortland Community College and Wesleyan University. She earned her law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
She is a past president of the Finger Lakes Women’s Bar Association, a former member of the executive board of the Women’s Bar of the State of New York, former president of the student body at TC3, and has served as the Secretary of the Board for the Alternatives Federal Credit Union.
Gibson joins a widening field that includes former Legislative Counsel to Barbara Lifton, Jordan Lesser, Cortland’s Lisa Hoeschele, City of Ithaca Alderperson Seph Murtagh, Dryden Town Supervisor Jason Leifer, Tompkins County Legislator Anna Kelles and Cortland County Legislator Beau Harbin, who have also announced their candidacy.
Petitions to appear on the ballot will begin circulating next Tuesday, 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