When the state Assembly convenes in January, it will be the first time in 26 years Wayne County will be represented by someone other than Bob Oaks.
Lyons Republican Brian Manktelow and Palmyra Democrat Scott Comegys are vying to replace the retiring Oaks as the 130th District representative in the Assembly.
Manktelow is a supervisor in Lyons, as well as a longtime farmer. Comegys raises alpacas, whose fleece is used for clothing.
Manktelow has been in politics for years. Two years ago he sought the Republican nomination for the 54th District State Senate seat subsequently captured by fellow Republican Pam Helming.
He decided to run for Assembly seat with encouragement from the outgoing Oaks and obtained the endorsements of GOP leaders in the 130th, a district that includes all of Wayne County and portions of Cayuga and Oswego counties.
Comegys is making his second foray into politics. His first taste was brief: He entered the race for the Democratic nomination for the 24th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives but dropped out. He has put his support behind the Democratic nominee, Dana Balter.
Comegys received the endorsements of the Democratic committees in the three counties of the 130th.
For Comegys, one of his motivations is to end the toxic atmosphere of politics.
“I got sick and tired of that political process and all the fighting,” he said. “(Most politicians) don’t tell you what they’re for and what they’re going to do.”
Manktelow sees the Assembly as a chance take advantage of the experience he has gained in local government. He knows firsthand how much state policies affect local government, in particular upstate.
“Not for nothing,” Manktelow said, “but upstate New York is totally different than downstate.”
He said too many young people have left the area to pursue better job opportunities in other states.
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