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Latimer Makes Co-Operative, Bi-Partisan Government Cornerstone of His Reelection Campaign

Bill Pearson Claudia Hilbert and George Latimer 1While his challenger, Rye City Councilwoman Julie Killian, threw her hat into the ring this spring, State Senator George Latimer waited until July 31 to announce his candidacy for the 37th Senate District seat.

 

By Robin Jovanovich

 

Bill Pearson Claudia Hilbert and George Latimer 1While his challenger, Rye City Councilwoman Julie Killian, threw her hat into the ring this spring, State Senator George Latimer waited until July 31 to announce his candidacy for the 37th Senate District seat.  

 

“If I’d announced in March, everything I did would have been viewed through the prism of politics,” said the two-term Senator in a far-ranging interview in our offices. He was happy to share that he had moved away from doing showy press conferences.  

 

Long known as a politician who shows up, he’s been busy going door-to-door, listening to residents’ concerns. As he pointed out, he’s the only senator who has won the last two elections and been outspent, and he’d like to continue that record.

 

While a proponent of campaign finance reform, he doesn’t, unlike his Republican opponent, believe that instituting term limits will improve the situation. He does, however, believe that new leadership is needed. “The State Senate has been controlled by the GOP for 77 out of the last 80 years. Julie may be a fresh face, but she is backed by that old boy network,” remarked Latimer. “The moneyed interests don’t want to see things changed.”

 

When asked what he’d like to see changed in Albany, Latimer pointed to the need for mandate relief (the reason he didn’t vote for the tax cap), phasing out payments to the Federal government for Medicaid (“we’re the only state that makes County government pay”), and allowing top school districts like Rye to decide on their own how they want to test students. Latimer is the ranking Democrat on the State Education Committee.

 

Known for working across the aisle while on the Rye City Council, the County Board of Legislators, and the State Assembly, he said the best hope for reform in Albany is bipartisan government.

 

“I communicate, am energetic, and possess the same enthusiasm for fixing what doesn’t work and making sure government works better as I did when I started off on the City Council in 1988,” said Latimer, who turns 63 soon after Election Day.

 

Before heading off, he left a large folder of “summer reading” on our front desk. We were a little disappointed not to discover a beach book in the pile, but we’re making our way through the bills he’s co-sponsored and helped pass.

 


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