New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet formally announced that she will run for the New York State Assembly seat for the 103rd District.
Zimet, a democrat, officially announced her candidacy for state assembly on Tuesday, April 29 via the launch of her website, susanzimet.com. Zimet will run against incumbent and fellow democrat Kevin Cahill. Cahill has served as the assemblyman for the 103rd District for nine, non-consecutive terms.
Zimet said she hopes to continue her efforts of tax decreases in New Paltz to the district. Since she took on the town supervisor role in 2012, Zimet and the Town Board have lowered taxes by eight percent and have saved the Town of New Paltz $1 million, according to her campaign video.
“People start off in politics with the best of intentions, but other factors come into play once you’re in Albany politics and you become insulated,” Zimet said. “It becomes difficult for politicians who have been involved for extended periods of time to connect with their constituents. We need someone in office who is going to be able to empathize with their constituents and not get as tangled up with Albany politics.”
Zimet said that she will focus on property tax reform should she be elected to the assembly. She said she has seen “the devastation property taxes bring to families” firsthand, and that reform on property taxes is one of her major campaign platforms.
“We need to reverse the way mandates and regulations like expensive high state testing are imposed on us from Albany, and we pick up the tab via our property taxes,” Zimet said.
Zimet was recently re-elected as Town Supervisor in November of 2013, after having been elected to the position in November 2011. Zimet had previously served as town supervisor from 1996 – 99, and served as a member of the Ulster County Legislature from 2003-11.
Zimet, who has long been an advocate for anti-fracking efforts, said in the video that part of the reason she is running against Cahill is because of his inaction on energy reform.
“Our assemblyman, who was then Chair of the Energy committee, had a great opportunity to lead the fracking moratorium effort,” Zimet said. “But instead, he remained silent.”
Zimet also accused Cahill of becoming part of the Albany status quo. She said in her video that she will continue to advocate for a more even playing field for women in New York. In her video statement, she discussed inequality between men and women, and said she will bring these issues to Albany should she be elected.
“It’s very upsetting to see what women in Albany have to go through,” Zimet said. “Women should be able to go to Albany, find a job, make their way up the ladder and not be sexually harassed by congressmen who then try and silence them with taxpayer dollars.”
Cahill said in a statement released on Tuesday that he is looking forward to Zimet’s challenge.
“We are very fortunate to live in a free democracy. That means we often have elections where different people run for the same office,” Cahill said. “I am proud of my record, my achievements and my vision for the people of Ulster and Dutchess counties and the great state of New York. I welcome the opportunity to discuss any issues the residents of the 103 Assembly District deem to be important.”