Candidates Square Off for NY's 51st District

By Erika Mahoney

October 18, 2012 Updated Oct 18, 2012 at 9:21 AM EST

Oneonta, NY (WBNG Binghamton) In round two of five debates between New York Sen. James Seward and first-time candidate Howard Leib, came face to face Wednesday evening, each vying for New York's 51st senate district spot.

Seward (R-Milford) has been in office for 26 consecutive years, while this is the first time Leib has ever had his name featured on the ballot.

As a native of Ostego County, Seward said he's the best man to represent his district because he knows what the concerns are and how to fix them at the state-level.

Since 1999, Seward has served as the chairman for the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance.

Meanwhile, Leib said Albany is in dire need of an "ordinary" person, who understand issues that affect the average voter.

Leib, an entertainment lawyer, said he decided to run to offer voters a choice this election.

The last time Seward had an opponent in an election was 2008.

The next debate between Seward and Leib is scheduled for Oct. 25.