TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Enfield Town Board member Bob Lynch has announced his candidacy for the Tompkins County Legislature’s District 8 seat, which represents the Town of Newfield and a portion of the Town of Enfield. Lynch will be running as a Democrat.

Lynch has served on the Enfield Town Board since January 2020 and has lived in the town since 1969, he said in his announcement. He is seeking to replace Dave McKenna, an Enfield Republican who has decided not to run for reelection. His candidacy sets up a Democratic primary matchup with fellow candidate Vanessa Greenlee in June, while Republican Randy Brown has also announced his campaign to seek the office.

In his announcement, Lynch wrote about the Old Library debate in Ithaca that pushed him to get involved in politics, saying from that moment he has felt pulled towards the Tompkins County Legislature. He also pointed to his stances on maintaining elected offices in Enfield and the controversy over the Pledge of Allegiance’s mandatory inclusion at Enfield public meetings, as well as pushing for expanded COVID-19 testing and vaccination access more recently.

I’m an unapologetic centrist,” he said. “No, I’m not an activist. Rather, I’d call myself an ‘inclusionist.’ I’m equally comfortable walking up a driveway and spotting a Trump banner hanging from a porch as a Bernie-bro sticker adorning a Prius. National alliances matter little at the local level. And I believe anyone’s opinion is at least worth a listen.”

He said he wants to build his campaign on a foundation of responsible economic spending, transparent government, creation of a separate law enforcement reform plan from the City of Ithaca’s and pushing a universal but voluntary COVID-19 vaccination regimen, and bold ideas like possibly making the County Administrator an elected position instead of appointed.

“It’s your money,” he concluded. “It’s your county. And now, it’s your choice. I offer a half-century of local experience—in journalism, in following the issues, and in living as your neighbor. Now it’s my opportunity to serve you in a new way, in a legislative chamber I’ve long known as a part of home. Please walk by my side.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com