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PRIMARY ELECTION: Cliff Crouch, Nick Libous Share Plans For 122nd Assembly Seat

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Voters will head to the polls on September 13th for the New York State and local primary election. One of the races on the ballot, is the 122nd Assembly seat. Longtime republican incumbent Cliff Crouch is being challenged by newcomer Nick Libous. 

"The support has been there and I enjoy what I do," says Crouch about his decision to run for a 13th term, "It's a job that once you get into it and doing things for people... It's kind of hard to walk away from."

In his 23 years in the Assembly seat, Crouch has never faced a primary opponent. And after he was initially elected to the position in 1995, Crouch has only had two opponents in general elections. As Fox 40 was first to tell you in May, when Libous was gearing up to make his announcement about his intent to run, Crouch ramped up his campaign efforts. He had already announced he would be seeking another term in April of 2018, but fueled by the possibility of a primary opponent, Crouch made that announcement again a month later, telling reporters he wanted to make sure the public knew he was in the race.

Libous, the son of late senator Tom Libous, says he was inspired to run for public office because he felt the outnumbered republicans on the Assembly needed a new voice. 

"The Assembly needs a loud, strong voice and I think I can be that voice," says Libous.

In challenging Crouch, Libous also challenged the local GOP leaders who were quick to throw their support behind his opponent.

If elected, he has two main issues he wants to focus on. Libous wants term limits for all state-wide politicians.. Libous says he also wants to get a property tax cap in place before the current one expires in 2020.

"Right now our property tax cap expires in 2020. The downstate politicians will raise our taxes here. Upstate has the highest property taxes of the nation. We have got to put that property tax cap in place beyond 2020," says Libous.

Crouch is also focused on taxes. He says he wants to make it easier for small businesses to prosper in New York state as well as lower state spending.

"The majority in the Assembly always loves to spend money, as does the Governor, so it's always a fight to keep the budget reigned in," says Crouch.

Crouch says his years of experience and his upbringing on his parents' Unadilla farm have given him an understanding of what the people in his largely rural district need and want. One of those causes that has become important to him is making sure veterans have the services and care they need. 

"I'm very concerned about the veterans, services to the veterans. I've been pushing for the Oxford Vet's Home to be able to hire more people. And we were successful in getting the vet's office re-established in Sidney," says Crouch.

Both candidates also say they want to continue fighting the opioid crisis in the area, looking for next steps in getting the right services for residents battling addiction. 

The polls will be open for the primary election on September 13th from noon to 9pm. In addition to the Assembly race, there are also 5 other republican primaries on the ballot.