Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, spoke about her decision to run for the House of Representatives seat now held by fellow Republican Richard Hanna of Barneveld.
Citing the intent to save the constitutional republic, Tenney added, “Today’s bloated federal government needs to be dealt with by adhering to the Constitution.”
Other speakers included Assemblyman Cliff Crouch of Guilford and Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook. Crouch and Gibson joined senators Jim Seward of Milford and John Bonacic of Mount Hope, along with Pete Lopez of Schoharie, in honoring Wanita Lewis.
Lewis, who lives in Oneonta and is approaching her 100th birthday, recalled her 60 years living in Delhi, including those she spent as its town supervisor.
“We built the Delhi Town Hall spending $60,000, because that is the amount we had,” Lewis remembered. “I didn’t want a debt.”
When she was elected in 1973 as the supervisor of the town of Delhi after earning a degree in business administration from the State University College of Technology at Delhi, Lewis became the first woman in the county to serve in such a position. And according to Andrea Campbell of the county GOP committee, Lewis’ achievement did not come without some strife.
“Wanita Lewis stood her ground during her two terms as supervisor,” Campbell said. “While researching Wanita’s background, I discovered the sentiment at the time was not easy for a woman.”
Campbell mentioned a letter to the editor that read, “The Town doesn’t need a woman. It’s a man’s job.”
“But, Wanita Lewis didn’t let those feelings disturb here,” said Campbell, a longtime acquaintance with Lewis. “She ran and won on her experience. Wanita was definitely qualified.”