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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Weaver: Focus on voters, not Nojay

  • Democrat hits Republicans in Senate for 'giant waste of taxpayers' money' for last week's primariesRandy Weaver finally has a general election opponent but he said Monday he remains focused on his own campaign for the State Assembly, not Bill Nojay.

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  • Democrat hits Republicans in Senate for 'giant waste of taxpayers' money' for last week's primariesRandy Weaver finally has a general election opponent but he said Monday he remains focused on his own campaign for the State Assembly, not Bill Nojay.
    However, that didn't stop Weaver from taking aim at the Republican-controlled State Senate on Monday.
    Weaver, a Democratic Steuben County legislator from Hornell, blasted Republican leaders in the Senate for not agreeing to hold the state primary on the same day as the federal primaries in June, calling last week's state primary that generally featured a slim lineup of contests and a sluggish turnout “a giant waste of taxpayers' money.”
    Earlier this year, the Democratic-controlled Assembly approved a bill seeking to set up a joint state-level/federal primary on June 26, but the legislation died in the State Senate.
    “The state Senate should have changed the primary day to the same date as the federal primary,” Weaver said.
    Weaver said the cost to Steuben County taxpayers for last Thursday's primary, which attracted about 900 voters in the county, was $15,000.
    “That's pretty expensive (for that turnout),” Weaver said
    While Weaver had no primary opponent, Republicans Nojay and Richard Burke squared off for the Assembly nomination. Radio host Nojay cruised to victory with about 58 percent of the vote.
    Meanwhile, Weaver said he is running an “old fashioned” campaign, going door to door to meet voters face to face and stumping at parades and festivals. On Monday he was at SUNY Geneseo, he said, talking with young voters.
    Weaver said he is focusing on mandate relief and jobs in his discussions with district residents. He insisted Nojay's win last week made little difference to him.
    “I had no preference between Mr. Burke and Mr. Nojay,” he said. “I'm not going to make this a campaign about Mr. Nojay.”
    Still, Weaver said as a member of the majority, he will be able to get more done for his district than a Republican if he is elected.?“I'll be in the room (when the important decisions are made),” Weaver said.
    Nojay on Monday scoffed at that claim.
    “A Republican actually has much more freedom to speak out and push issues of interest to Steuben County than a Democrat does,” Nojay said in response to email questions. “The New York City Democrats do not tolerate dissent or open debate within their caucus.”?
     
     

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