“Camillus, NY–Diane Dwire, the former head of the Onondaga County Democratic Committee, is challenging incumbent Gary Finch for the seat representing the 126th state Assembly District.
This isn’t the first time the two have faced off in the district representing parts of Cayuga, Onondaga, Cortland and Chenango counties. Two years ago, Dwire waged a last-minute write in campaign against Finch, garnering about 300 votes in a two-week email campaign.
This time Dwire has already received endorsements from the Democratic committees in Cayuga and Onondaga counties, and has begun seeking signatures on petitions to get her name on the ballot.
Finch has not faced an official challenger since 2008. The Republican has spent 15 years in the Democratically-controlled Assembly. He lives in Springport and is head of a funeral home company.
Dwire is a retired U.S. Army nurse, who served six years on active duty and 18 years in the reserves before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. She is also retired from the New York State Health Department.
She’s a life-long Democrat and grew up talking politics with her father, Al Myrdek, who was mayor of Camillus in the 1960s.
“My father is the reason I entered politics in the first place. He really always felt people should have a choice (in an election),” said Dwire, who served on the Camillus Town Board.
While Finch has complained at times that as a member of the minority party he doesn’t have much clout in Albany, Dwire said she would use her ties to the majority party in the Assembly to get things done in the district.
“I believe I would be able to be a voice in Albany,” she said. “We have a good Central New York leadership group here. We might be able to get a little more done having me as the representative.””