Election Day is still more than four months away, but the race for Broome County Executive is heating up. YNN's Chris Whalen got an early look at the race as one candidate kicks off his campaign.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- He served on the Binghamton mayor's staff for six years, but Tarik Abdelazim has never run for election until this year.
"My concern is that I'm deeply invested in this community and we have some very serious issues at the regional level and I believe that this is the right time where I can step forward and serve Broome County," Abdelazim said.
The former Executive Assistant to Mayor Matt Ryan and Director of Planning, Housing and Urban Development for the City officially kicked off his campaign Thursday with a fundraiser in Binghamton.
Although the election is still 137 days away, the democratic candidate is already planning his top priorities if elected.
"The key issues are going to be jobs, economic development, flood recovery and housing, helping rebuild all of our communities, gas drilling is obviously a major concern and then taxes and services," Abdelazim said.
Just a year ago, Debbie Preston was preparing for the special election that would make her the current County Executive. Just six months in to her administration, she already has another election on her hands.
But Preston says right now, she's just worried about the task at hand.
"I do my job as County Executive, what I was elected to do last year and it's just one day at a time and I'll do what I have to do as I move forward, but I'm focusing on what needs to be done for the County," Preston said.
Preston says that means she'll continue to look out for the taxpayers by saving money and improving services, hoping that work will resonate with voters.