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Local News

November 2, 2012

New district maps shape Assembly races

Voters will choose a new New York State Assembly on Tuesday, but the recently redrawn district map may mean that some won’t necessarily see familiar names when casting their ballots.

Otsego and Delaware counties are largely broken into three districts, all of which extend beyond the two counties. The 101st district, for example, spans six counties and bisects Otsego and Delaware, a sinuous district that’s more than 120 miles from end to end, but is only five miles wide in places. In that district, Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, a Republican, is being challenged by Daniel Carter, the Herkimer County Democratic Party chairman.

In the 121st District, longtime Democratic Assemblyman Bill Magee is facing a challenge from Internet marketing entrepreneur Levi Spires.

The 102nd* District features a race between incumbent Republican Pete Lopez and Democratic challenger Jimmy Miller, a former Albany police officer and spokesman for the Albany Police Department.

Here are the districts and the candidates:

Assembly District 121

Magee, from Nelson, has served 22 years in the Assembly and is chairman of the Agriculture Committee. In representing a largely rural district, where the most-populous city is Oneonta at 14,000, he has sponsored or helped to pass legislation on behalf of farmers and other agricultural interests. Most recently, he authored to allow farms to grow, brew and sell locally made beer.

Before winning election to the Assembly in 1990, Magee represented Nelson on the Madison County Board of Supervisors for 19 years. In addition to agriculture, Magee has been a supporter of higher education and volunteer fire departments.

His Republican opponent, Levi Spires of Cazenovia, is a 12-year Air Force veteran who founded and runs an Internet marketing company. He strongly advocates cutting taxes and reducing government regulation. He opposes state aid to school districts and calls for reforming Medicaid, state pensions, public assistance, child welfare, preschool and special education, early intervention, indigent defense, probation and youth detention. He also advocates improving cell phone and broadband Internet access in the district. Spires has made Magee’s age, 73, an issue. Spires is 38.

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