Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs announced this morning his candidacy for the New York State Senate’s 60th District currently held by Marc Panepinto. This announcement comes on the heels of Senator Panepinto’s announcement on Tuesday that he would not be running for re-election.
Jacobs’ announcement took place at 737 Main Street, a building he purchased 12 years ago, and his first purchase of many on the 700 block of Main. At the time of the purchase, most considered Main Street to be a blighted area, but Jacobs spoke to the vision he had to create a new small business community in the area, stating that the most exciting part of his journey on Main has been renting to small start-up companies and watching their successes, which he feels is what will help shape the future of the city.
In 1995 Jacobs founded the Bison Fund, a privately funded tuition assistance program for low-income elementary school children to attend private elementary schools. The Bison Fund now provides over 1,700 scholarships every year. He also served on the Buffalo Board of Education for several years. “We need to completely overhaul how the state works with local school districts, both in terms of funding and oversight. Is is so dysfunctional now and it wastes local and state resources. That is why we spend the most of nearly any state in the country but get very poor results,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs stated that his passion for the area and his work in the private sector, public sector, and non-for-profit sector of the community have led him to the decision to become the next senator of the State of New York. He stated, “We need to continue the momentum Buffalo is now experiencing. We need someone in Albany who will make decisions that are right for Erie County, not Albany, not New York City, so that we can continue to thrive.” He continued, “We need to put people in Albany who have the interests of the constituents who sent them there. We need to fight to make sure we have our fair share of funding from Albany to improve our infrastructure, schools, and other critical needs.” He commented on our poor water conditions along Lake Erie and said, “I want to see our children swimming in clean water in the summer.”
Jacobs is a strong proponent of term limits in the leadership in Albany. According to Jacobs, “A common element of most of the politicians caught up in the corruption scandals in Albany is that they had been in office a very long time, accumulated massive power, and abused that power for personal gain and to stay in office.” He adds, “It’s really important the Senate stay in the Republican hands, if only to have one branch of government not completely controlled by New York City politicians, it’s critical.” He urges people to look at the person, not the party.
Jacobs says his next steps are to talk to people in the district, work on a substantive platform, and begin to build his campaign.