Bagnall-Graham will challenge Seward for Senate

A Chenango County Democrat has announced his candidacy for the state Senate seat held by James Seward, a 30-year Republican incumbent whose sprawling district crosses nine counties and includes four towns in Ulster.

The challenger is Jermaine Bagnall-Graham, an Army veteran and father of two who works for the Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown as a clinical systems analyst. “We deserve a Senator who fights against unnecessary constraints on our teachers, fights for our farmers and small businesses, and fights to end Albany corruption,” Bagnall-Graham said in a recent campaign announcement.

Seward returned to work this week after undergoing surgery for bladder cancer, saying in a statement that he has been given a clean bill of health. He is chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee and reported having around $412,000 in his campaign coffers in his most recent report.

Republicans hold a significant voter enrollment advantage in Seward’s 51st Senate District. Seward, who lives in Milford and used to be the Otsego County Republican chairman, has either had no opponent or won by blowouts in his last four races. The four Ulster towns in the eastern end of the 51st District are Hardenburgh, Shandaken, Olive and Rochester.

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