Article originally written at Binghamton Political Buzz on April 16, 2016, by Michael “Vass” Vasquez.
It was on March 7, 2016, that the public was first informed of the intentions of Jason Garnar. He was the former County Legislator who, on that day, released the news of his run for the Broome County Executive seat. That same day, his campaign website featured a video giving his reasons why he chose to run.
Fast forward 39 days. On April 15, 2016, the Garnar Campaign took its first significant public step. A formal launch of the campaign took place at the Atomic Dog Cafe in Downtown Binghamton. The event started at 5:30 PM, and in a half hour the modest sized room had been filled by Democrat supporters. Our unofficial count came to 70 people; not including the 15 students who were the volunteers staffing the event, and the additional 3 photographers for promotional media creation. Binghamton Political Buzz was the exclusive news media covering the event to our knowledge.
There was no lack of notable names among the crowd of Democrats. 125th District Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo was in attendance. We spoke with both Binghamton Councilwoman Dani Cronce and Councilman Conrad Taylor – each expressing their support and belief in Mr. Garnar’s capabilities as County Executive. In addition we spotted Barbara Fiala, who recently failed in her attempt to gain the 52nd State Senate seat, as well as a number of members of Citizen Action.
The excitement levels of the crowd was quite high, and even after Mr. Garnar began to speak about his family and 9 years in the County Legislature they took some time to calm down. Mr. Garnar spoke at length about the issues facing Broome County. In his speech Mr. Garnar laid many of these issues facing Broome County at the feet of the incumbent, such as job losses, population reduction, and especially the current Heroin crisis –
“5 years ago our County Executive promised to work for the people, here’s what happened. A Heroin epidemic that is destroying families and lives…”
Mr. Garnar went on in his speech to take on the controversial decision on the PLA from 2015, and suggested improved job training to create job growth. Another focus of the speech was the desire to retain students from Binghamton University in the community after graduation. Yet, nearly at the end of the speech, Mr. Garnar addressed the common tactic of negative campaigning – without regard to his prior comment on the Heroin epidemic,
“I am committed to running a positive issue-oriented campaign, but Broome County has seen its fair share of negative campaigning and the negative campaigning has to end.”
While the kick-off event was not meant to contain a question and answer portion for news media, we were assured by the campaign staff that an opportunity to interview Mr. Garnar would be provided to Binghamton Political Buzz in the near term. Even so, we were able to speak directly to Jason Garnar prior to the start of the event, and he addressed one of the issues we raised in our article on March 14, 2016.
That issue was the general void of information on the campaign website. Mr. Garnar stated that the current website was meant as a placeholder to allow the public to be aware of his run as his formal campaign website is designed. Mr. Garnar assured us that a far more detailed election website will be available for the public shortly.
** Note – Binghamton Political Buzz does not advocate for any candidate or election race. We only seek to provide information for the public to be able to determine, in an informed manner, for themselves whichever candidate they prefer. We look forward to the opportunity to interview Mr. Garnar and incumbent County Executive Debbie Preston to that end. **