There may be something very familiar about a race for State Assembly this year in northern and eastern Onondaga County. It's now the 121st Assembly district, but, under redistricting, it will soon be known as the 127th. YNN's Bill Carey said the name may be different than two years ago, but the candidates will be the same.
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- It was an upset in one of the closest state legislative races two years ago. Republican challenger Don Miller ousting two term democrat Al Stirpe from the state assembly.
Now, the stage is set for a rematch with democrat Stirpe saying he will challenge Miller in his bid for a second term. Stirpe said voters in the district have a case of buyer's remorse. Miller said those voters don't want to take a step back.
“Going backwards to the old tax and spend Albany sort of formula for taking advantage of taxpayers, for taking advantage of employers, that's a thing of the past. We can't go back,” said Miller.
Miller talks about a new direction in Albany, but Stirpe said the republican has not been part of the effort, joining republican colleagues in the assembly in voting against a number of key measures.
Stirpe said Miller has refused to reach across the aisle.
Stirpe said, “If there's no room for compromise, such as we see playing out in Washington, nothing gets accomplished. In other words, they want results, not rhetoric.”
Al Stirpe said the same rhetoric that may have helped Don Miller win his assembly seat two years ago, will be the factor that costs him that seat in 2012.
The democrat said, in 2010, Miller rode a wave of tea party anger that turned off large numbers of voters and kept them from the polls.
“There was so much vitriol and negative speech going on that a lot of people got turned off. And especially women. I don't think they want to listen to that. And they all just stayed home. They had better things to do,” said Stirpe.
Miller said, “There was no wave, two years ago. Voters went in to the voting booth, 2 years ago, very, very focused on what they wanted. They wanted specific things. They looked at specific candidates. They looked at records. They looked at ideas. And they made a choice.
Redistricting, besides changing the number of the district, has also added in a few more republican voters. Stirpe said if there is a clear discussion of issues and what Miller has or hasn't accomplished, he can still pull off a political comeback.