State Sen. James L. Seward, R-Milford, will have a challenger in next year’s election in New York’s 51st district as Middleburgh farmer Jim Barber, a Democrat, announced in a media release Monday, Dec. 2, he will try to keep Seward from a ninth term.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 3. The 51st district includes all of Cortland, Otsego and Schoharie counties as well as parts of Cayuga, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Tompkins and Ulster counties.
Barber’s public service experience includes seven years as the New York state executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency and two years in the state Department of Agriculture and Markets as special assistant to the commissioner.
Barber is the first challenger to Seward, who announced last month he intends to run for re-election despite the recurrence of cancer in his bladder. Seward, 68, first underwent treatment for the cancer in 2016, missing about 10 weeks of work during his recovery.
According to a Nov. 6 media release, Seward is undergoing treatment again this fall, and plans to return to Albany for the new session in January.
He was first elected to the State Senate in 1986.