Longtime Assemblyman Cliff Crouch is retiring at the end of his term.
Republican Joe Angelino and Democrat Rick Shaw are now vying to represent the Chenango County-area distict.
The change in representation comes at a time when the state, and the nation, is battling an ongoing pandemic.
Democratic candidate Rick Shaw commended Governor Cuomo on his work in fighting the virus, but believes the power should now be spread out.
“I feel that it’s time now to put the power back into the legislators of whom the people elect and let them start developing legislation to lead us forward out of this pandemic. We need to open up our businesses, we need to get that sales tax revenue,” said Shaw.
Angelino says he too has seen the affects the governor’s closures have had on the district. He’d like to see the economy open up.
“My work has continued on because of the work I do, but I see businesses that are just dropping off left and right. Economic strife is also something that can kill this country just as easy as a disease or sickness,” said Angelino.
Angelino served 23 years in the Marine Corps, earning two Purple Hearts. He was also the former Norwich police chief.
He said his time in uniform gives him a unique perspective on bail reform, which he is looking to repeal.
“We weren’t invited to the table. Law enforcement was left out and they had such a backlash in 2019 that a lot of people had to backpedal on how they voted on that law. When you start to see people robbing banks two-to-three times a week and being released,” said Angelino.
Shaw also supports repealing bail reform, and is also a veteran who served in the Air Force before working as a school safety coordinator.
Following a school shooting in 1992, he worked with police to develop a training program.
He supports state-funded school resource officers for every district and says they’ve been successful in years past.
“Many of the kids grew and developed relationships and the respect that I feel is kind of lacking anymore with our law enforcement. They’re much more than law enforcement. They’re councilors, they’re liaisons,” said Shaw.
When it comes to schooling, Angelino would like to see a return to in-person learning.
While this race features candidates from separate parties living more than an hour apart, they agree on a number of issues.
Shaw would like to see farmers grow barley for the craft beer industry to help crossover with small businesses.
Angelino’s plans to fight for farmers to address a rising minimum wage and the Farm Labor Bill, which he says has forced a number of layoffs.
The 122nd Assembly District includes parts of Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties.