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State Senate Candidates address local concerns at Rotary Forum

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Senator Fred Akshar and Democratic challenger Sharon Ball, candidates for the 52nd District Senate seat visited the Binghamton Rotary Club today. The candidates discussed their platforms and addressed concerns from club members about political issues.

"You actually have the ability to put someone on the spot and say 'look, this is what I'm concerned about,'" says Rotary member Elaine Miller.

One of the main concerns from Rotary members and candidates alike? The local economy.

"We have an economy that is starving," says Senator Fred Akshar.

While both candidates believe that the economy is a major issue to be addressed, their plans on how to fix it differ. Akshar advocates for lowering taxes on businesses and relaxing regulations to make it easier for new businesses to prosper.

"The only way we can improve the economy, the only way we lower taxes or create jobs is if government gets out of the way," says Akshar.

Ball believes that economic success is tied to other issues of community well-being. If residents are happy in their community, more companies will be drawn to it.

"Things like whether or not people feel good enough about their community, good enough about their own lives, good enough about their children's opportunities in this community to advocate for the community," says Ball.

Akshar, the Republican incumbent, is running for his first full term after being elected following the resignation of the late Tom Libous. Ball, a democrat and the former head of the Broome County Arts Council, is running for office for the first time.