Incumbent Bennett, newcomer Zank clash in Cayuga County Legislature Democratic primary

Two candidates will compete this week in a primary election for the Cayuga County Legislature’s 10th District in Auburn, as incumbent Joe Bennett and newcomer Mike Zank seek the Democratic Party line.

Party leaders may typically back their incumbent candidates in a primary, but that’s not been the case for Bennett.

The seat is up for grabs in the general election in November after Bennett temporarily resigned from the Legislature last spring in order to retire and collect his pension from his career as a maintenance mechanic at Cayuga Community College. Although he was reappointed to the Legislature after few days, elections law requires a special election to determine who will finish out the final year of Bennett’s second term.

The primary election set for Thursday, Sept. 13, will determine which of the two men will appear under the Democratic Party line on ballots come November. However, both are also running on other party lines and are likely to face each other again no matter who wins Thursday.

Zank, who moved from Michigan in 2010 to work at the Owens-Illinois bottle plant in Sennett, is taking his first run at public office and said he wants to provide a voice for the working class, pointing to a variety of union leadership positions as qualifications for the Legislature.

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