WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Waddington Town Supervisor Alex Hammond announced Tuesday morning he is running for the 116th Assembly District seat.
“I am proud and honored to announce to you today that I am running to be your assemblyman, your representative for the River District,” he told supporters at the Paddock Arcade in Watertown.
The Democrat became the youngest town supervisor in the state when he was elected at age 21.
Now 24, he says it's that experience as town supervisor that would serve him well in Albany.
“I want to cut the red tape and make it easier for struggling municipalities do their job. We need to increase state funding to this district and ensure that local communities have a long term strategic plan for that funding. We aren’t asking for a handout to simply band aid a problem. We need to support local municipalities so that they may improve their highway departments and upgrade their crumbling infrastructure so it may be utilized for generations to come," he said.
Hammond, a Waddington native, is a music teacher at Libson Central School and is an officer in the New York Army National Guard.
He said he wants to take on issues like unemployment, poverty and the opioid crisis. He also brought up the state's new bail reform law, saying it should have been debated before it was passed.
Although Hammond doesn't have government experience on a state level, he believes the people of the district are looking for someone who is an outsider.
“Somebody who can go to Albany with a different perspective. Someone who’s not part of the system in Albany. I think we’re seeing that in politics across different levels. And that’s what I want to be. I want to be a friend and neighbor that can go to Albany and advocate for them,” he said.
The seat is now held by Republican Mark Walczyk, elected in 2018, who is in his second year of a two-year term.
The 116th District is split closely between registered Republicans and Democrats, with about 2,000 more Republicans.
Before Walczyk, Democrat Addie Jenne represented the 116th Assembly District for 6 years after redistricting.
It’s expected Walczyk will run for the seat again. We reached out to him for comment, but didn’t hear back.
The election is in November.