The race for the 148th state Assembly district pits incumbent Joe Giglio, a Republican from Gowanda, against Dan Brown, a Great Valley Democrat.
The district includes all of Cattaraugus and Allegany counties and the towns of Greenwood, Jasper, Troupsburg and West Union in Steuben County.
Brown's seven-year term as Great Valley town supervisor has seen improvements to town facilities, highway equipment and senior programs as well as small tax increases each year. He says state mandates on education need to be relaxed, the state needs to help local governments improve area infrastructure and the tax system needs to be reformed.
Giglio, meanwhile, has spent three full terms in the Assembly and been a member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team. The group reviewed the Medicaid system, finding about $2.5 billion in savings and relieving local governments of administrative costs for Medicaid.
Giglio sponsored legislation to allow area jails to house out-of-state prisoners to help boost revenues for local jails, worked with state Sen. Catharine Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell to promote and support policies to limit state spending, streamline regulations for taxpayers and businesses and advocate for mandate relief for local governments and school districts.
The main difference between the candidates is how they would approach working in the Assembly.
If elected to the state Assembly, Brown said, he wants to work with the Assembly majority to pass legislation to reduce the tax burden.
"Our representation has been stuck on the minority side of the Assembly for too long. In order to help our seniors and our children and make our part of New York better, we need to get our voices on the majority side," Brown said recently.
Giglio, on the other hand, wants to reform Assembly rules that he says are undemocratic and give too much legislative power to the speaker. Rank and file members from both sides of the aisle have very little input on the process and on the legislation that reaches the Assembly for a vote.
"I believe that my record is clear ... I've resisted the status quo and have been calling for reform from the top-down," Giglio said.
Rather than try to work within a majority that tends to oppose legislation that would help Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, Assemblyman Giglio wants to fight to make the Assembly more responsive to its members and their constituents. It will be an uphill battle, but Assemblyman Giglio has earned another two years in office to continue the fight.
We back Joe Giglio for the state Assembly, and we urge voters to re-elect him on Nov. 6.