Christopher Jacobs should be elected to this open seat created by the abrupt decision by Sen. Marc C. Panepinto not to seek re-election. The winner of this seat will help determine whether the closely divided Senate remains in Republican hands.
Jacobs, a Republican, has an impressive background, ranging from education to development to knowledge of the mechanics of government, that will bode well for his constituents. He has been a dedicated public servant for years, whether that meant participating as an elected member of the Buffalo Board of Education, his work in state government as secretary of state under the Pataki administration or in his current job as Erie County clerk. And that does not include his educational funding efforts for disadvantaged youths.
Jacobs’ work as a developer informs his opinion on economic matters affecting the state. While he sounds a positive note and hopes the SolarCity project at RiverBend succeeds, he believes three-quarters of a billion dollars of public funds on one project to be too risky. Given the bonanza likely to spring from RiverBend and other Buffalo Billion projects, every member of the Western New York delegation should commit to continuing support for the state’s economic development efforts here.
We also take issue with his support in a campaign ad for the myth that upstate tax dollars go to support New York City when in overall terms we get far more state dollars than we send to Albany.
His Democratic opponent is Amber Small, executive director of the Parkside Community Association, who has little political experience. She has the endorsement of the New York State United Teachers union and supports spending billions more on education while opposing the Common Core standards.
It is in the general interest of upstate New York to keep the Senate in Republican hands. That, coupled with Jacobs’ experience and accomplishments, earn him our recommendation for State Senate.