State Senate hopeful tests negative after COVID scare


State Senate candidate Jim Barber spent the Independence Day weekend in self-isolation after learning he had been in the same location as someone who had tested positive for coronavirus. 

Barber, a Democratic farmer from the Schoharie Valley, posted on his campaign’s social media accounts Friday, July 3, just after 6 p.m. with his initial announcement about the isolation. He wrote: “Unfortunately, I may have been exposed to COVID and, out of an abundance of caution, I will be postponing my visit to the Pakatakan Farmers Market tomorrow. I am awaiting test results and once I get the all clear, I will reschedule. In the meantime, everyone stay safe out there, wear your mask and enjoy the holiday weekend!”

Sunday, July 5, in the late morning, Barber posted an update: “Great news, my COVID test is negative! Thank you all for the well wishes! While I was sorry to miss the Pakatakan Farmers Market and my grandson’s birthday party (yep, he’s a Fourth of July baby!), I do not regret taking every precaution to keep the folks around me safe. Let’s continue to take care of one another!”

Barber and Otsego County Rep. Peter Oberacker, Jr., a Republican businessman from Schenevus, will compete in the November election to replace longtime State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, in the 50th district.

Seward, who was hospitalized with coronavirus in March and is recovering, will be retiring after more than three decades in office. 

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