Two candidates seek Senate seat Seward will vacate

A Schoharie County farmer and an Otsego County business owner and legislator are set to square off for the state Senate seat that retiring Republican James Seward is vacating and that includes four Ulster County towns in the broad area it covers.

The Republican candidate is Schenuvus resident Peter Oberacker, owner of Form Tech Solutions and a member of the Otsego County Board of Representatives.

The Democratic candidate is Jim Barber, a Middleburgh farmer who held government jobs for nine years: he ran New York’s Farm Service Agency – a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – for seven years and worked for the state Department of Agriculture and Markets for two years.

They plan to compete for the 51st Senate District, which includes all or part of nine counties and takes in the towns of Hardenburgh, Shandaken, Olive Rochester in Ulster County, its southern tip. Seward, who lives in Otsego County, is leaving office this year after 34 years in the Senate.

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