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Republican leaders select Fred Akshar as their candidate for New York State Senate

Local Republicans have made their pick to run for the Senate seat made vacant by the conviction of Tom Libous. Broome County Undersheriff Fred Akshar is the choice.

"The 52nd district needs a fresh face, fresh ideas, and somebody with energy and passion and that is exactly what I am going to do," said Fred Akshar, Undersherriff for Broome County.

With that Akshar entered the 52nd District Senate Race. His boss says Akshar has overseen all divisions at the sheriff's office during his 15 years in law enforcement.

"He's one step ahead of the energizer bunny. He has all that youth and talent, he is vigorous and ready to go do things," said Broome County Sheriff Dave Harder.

Akshar was one of 30 candidates the party considered. The Democrats settled on one candidate, former Broome County Executive and DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala. She quickly earned the endorsement of Governor Andrew Cuomo after the Senate seat opened with the conviction of former Senator Tom Libous.

"We did things through a democratic process. We didn't do things by the Governor picking somebody and telling the people of the 52nd District who their candidate was going to be. You know what, I stand before each and every one of you proud to know that I made it through the democratic process," said Akshar.

A process that the Broome County Democratic Committee had plenty to say about. Chair Leader Jim Testani calls Akshar, "The ultimate political insider; an individual who has never represented constituents but has spent years and years as a political operative."

"We don't want somebody who spent all their time up in Albany whining and dining with lobbyist and other politicians. We need new leadership and fresh ideas, and that's what Fred Akshar brings," said Bijoy Datta, Broome County Republican Chairman.

Some of those ideas according to Akshar include local workforce investment and job creation for small businesses, investing in Upstate schools, and combating the heroin epidemic through increased community support and treatment.