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Election roundup: Dueling farm endorsements in NY Senate race; manufacturers back Renna

Election roundup: Dueling farm endorsements in NY Senate race; manufacturers back Renna

Barber and Oberacker

The candidates in the 51st state Senate District race are Jim Barber, left, and Peter Oberacker. Barber is a Democrat. Oberacker is a Republican. 

One thing is clear in the 51st state Senate District race between Jim Barber and Peter Oberacker: Both candidates have support from farms. 

Early Friday, Oberacker, R-Schenevus, announced he has been endorsed by more than 20 farms in the 51st district, which includes all or parts of nine counties. 

In a joint statement, the farms — including Barton Farms, Duncan Farms, Hell Hollow Swiss Farms and Yerdon Farms — praised Oberacker for his "commitment and enthusiasm to helping farmers and business owners." They also noted that he supports the No Farms, No Food Act, which would provide aid to farms affected by the COVID-1 pandemic, and reducing state regulations and taxes. 

"As farmers, we are fully supportive of Peter's pro-farming policies and are extremely thankful for his understanding of our concerns regarding the economic prosperity of farms and small businesses in the 51st Senate District and the state of New York," the farmers wrote. 

Not to be outdone, Barber — a fifth-generation farmer — highlighted the support he's received from more than 60 farms and farmers in the 51st district and across the state. One of the notable endorsers is Darrel Aubertine, a former state senator who served as state agriculture commissioner. 

According to Barber's campaign, the farmers are part of the "Farmers for Barber" group. If he's elected, he will be the only full-time farmer in the state Senate. 

"These farmers understand, as I do, how critical it is that we have a representative in the state Senate who shares our values and work ethic," Barber said. "Someone who can speak from personal experience of earning a living as a full-time farmer. We can be sure that Albany will continue to enact legislation that will mandate how we should be farming and running our businesses. I need to be there to represent all of us." 

Barber and Oberacker are running to succeed retiring state Sen. Jim Seward in the 51st district. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

Manufacturers endorse Renna

The Manufacturing and Industry Political Action Committee, which is the political arm of The Manufacturers Association of Central New York and other industry groups, has endorsed Angi Renna in the 50th state Senate District. 

In a statement announcing the endorsements, Dean Burrows, the PAC's chair, said manufacturers need strong representation in state government. 

"We sought those candidates who would best understand and represent our issues," he said. "Based on our long history of advocating for the New York state manufacturing sector, our MIPAC has always maintained an understanding that we will not always agree with our representatives on every single issue.

"What we find most critical in our Albany representation is that the lines of communication always remain open and that good policy and open government remain priorities first and foremost to those candidates we support." 

Renna, R-Manlius, is running to represent the 50th district, which includes parts of Cayuga and Onondaga counties. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.


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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at

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