Sen. Seward: Going for a 14th Term

By Erika Mahoney

October 25, 2012 Updated Oct 25, 2012 at 10:04 AM EDT

Oneonta, NY (WBNG Binghmaton) New York State Senator James Seward said he remembers playing on this same rock in Huntington Park when he was a kid.

"I have deep roots in this area, and I have been very honored to represent the district these last 26 years," said Seward.

It's a district he knows well. Seward has been elected state senator for New York's 51st district the past 13 terms. He's also a native of Otsego county, spending his entire life there.

"I am able to go to Albany and get results for the people of the district," he said. "I've been in Albany long enough to see what I would call the good, bad and the ugly. And I would say things are pretty good right now."

Seward said he wants to build on the momentum that he's established over the past two years, including ensuring more New Yorkers have access to insurance.

"I do not believe in a government, sponsored, single-payer system, that my opponent believes in, because that would raise taxes here in New York State so high that we would drive out jobs and business."

In 1999, Seward became the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance. He wants a mandate commission to analyze the cost benefits of various health insurance policies and a health insurance exchange to come to fruition.

"This health insurance exchange would be a one stop shopping site, shall we say, for individuals, particularly for small business owners and others, to be able to shop for affordable health insurance policies here in the state."

When it comes to hyrdrofracking, he says he would support the practice, only if and when the Department of Environmental Conservation approves the practice.

And in response to his opponent's push for the legalization of medical marijuana, he said only if it was tightly controlled.

"My opponent is talking about having marijuana be a new cash crop for our farmers and I say that's ludicrous. You know, I'm very close to the farm bureau and the farmers in our area, and I've never heard one farmer suggest to me that they want to have marijuana growing in their field."

But apart from the issues, Seward said being a strong candidate also involves knowing the land.

"I work hard to earn that trust every single election. I'm constantly touring the district, talking with constituents. I know their needs and concerns and I believe that sets me apart from my opponent who apparently has only lived here a short time."