PLATTSBURGH — Kimberly Davis formally launched her campaign for a State Senate seat Tuesday, saying she will work to improve broadband and mobile telephone service in the region, and to create better social equality and services to help support all New Yorkers.
“We need to support our mental health agencies, our veterans service agencies, and we need to ensure equal rights of all our citizens,” she said at her campaign kickoff event at the Butcher Block.
A Democrat, Davis has been the Clinton County treasurer since 2014.
She is seeking to gain the 45th Senate District seat in the 2020 election.
The seat is held by Republican Betty Little of Queensbury in Warren County, and has been since 2003.
Little has yet to decide if she is going to run again in 2020.
Before a crowd of about 50 people, Davis said she is running to serve her community.
“It is the commitment to doing what you know needs to be done, for the right reason, to benefit others,” she said.
“It is being there for your neighbor, for your community, as I was taught by my parents.”
Davis, 44, is from Springs, Long Island.
She moved to the North Country in 2002.
Davis said she learned the value of hard work from her parents and family, taking a summer job at the age of 12.
As a business and philosophy graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, Davis said she is well-equipped to handle the duties of a senator.
“The philosophical part of my time in college led to one of the greatest strengths that I believe I possess, and one that will serve me well in the State Senate — to be able to look at situations through many lenses, to look at intent, to reason, use logic and always to question,” she said.
“It is a huge asset in this world I am entering.”
Davis said she entered the race so early because the district is so large that she will need time to visit and learn the needs of each community, and to raise money.
“I need as much time as possible to devote to my new second full-time job, which is finding out how I can best serve the citizens of the 45th District,” she said.
“The other reason to start early is that I do have to fund raise aggressively, both to get my message out to a geographically wide audience, but also to show that I am a viable candidate, that I have support.”
The district includes all of Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Warren counties and parts of Washington and St. Lawrence counties.
According to the New York State Board of Elections website, Little has raised $356,860 since 2017.
She spent $210,421 over that same period.
Little won re-election last year against Democrat Emily Martz from Saranac Lake.
Davis said she will focus on improving cellphone service and broadband, assets that people and businesses need to thrive in the region.
“There are some basic needs that our citizens require and don’t have that are enjoyed by others in our state,” she said.
“To me, this is economic equality. Just like electricity was in the 20th century, cell service is now a part of our everyday lives, and it is a necessity.
“It is unacceptable that in many parts of our region, including right here in the Town of Plattsburgh, cell service is limited or non-existent.”
Davis also said she will work to help create good jobs and to promote small businesses, which are the backbone of the economy.
“We must realize that all jobs are not created equal,” she said.
“We don’t need more fast-food restaurants. We need employers to pay a livable wage. On the other hand, we don’t need to hamstring our businesses with unnecessary or overburdening regulations that fly in the face of commonsense.”
Davis said she will strive for balance in her approach to government.
“This is the frustration that many of us have with government. Neither side is right all of the time,” she said.
“The old phrase of cow-trading is correct in my opinion. I give you something you want, you give me something I want. No one is completely happy, but the job gets done.
“And the job is not getting done.”
Little, 78, enjoyed being in the majority for most of her time in the Senate, but Democrats took control of the body after last November’s election.
“My focus is on the end-of-session business,” Little said.
“There are hundreds of bills the legislature is voting on these last two weeks, lots to read through and to make informed decisions when voting. And I have my own district priorities that I am working on.
“When the time comes, I’ll be ready for the politics of the campaign season.”
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