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Tompkins County legislator to challenge Webb for competitive 52nd state Senate seat

Republican Mike Sigler plans to challenge state Sen. Lea Webb in 2024.
Tompkins County
Republican Mike Sigler plans to challenge state Sen. Lea Webb in 2024.

Tompkins County Republican Michael Sigler is mounting a campaign to challenge Democratic state Sen. Lea Webb in 2024.

Now in his fourth term on the Tompkins County Legislature, Sigler has been appearing at political events throughout the 52nd Senate District the last few months. The district encompasses the entirety of Tompkins and Cortland counties as well as the western half of Broome County.

"I think I've been a voice of reason on the Tompkins County Legislature,” Sigler told WSKG. “We've voted on some things on the state level that I don't agree with, but there's a lot of common ground out there too."

Sigler pointed specifically to areas where decisions at the state level have particularly impacted counties. He pointed to the decision by the state earlier this year to no longer pass along millions of dollars in some Medicaid funding from the federal government to counties.

“When people say, why did you get into this race, it's basically because the state does not treat our counties fairly and our towns fairly, and it's really hurting the citizens of New York state,” Sigler said.

The 52nd state Senate district was rated as a Democrat +8 seat by the Cook Political Index in 2022, though Webb secured only 51.1 percent of the vote. She defeated term-limited former Binghamton Mayor Rich David, a Republican.

Sigler previously mounted an unsuccessful campaign for state Assembly in 2002 and, more recently, a run for Congress last year. Sigler dropped out of last year’s congressional race when the district was redrawn due to redistricting.

Sigler told WSKG he plans to utilize the state’s public campaign financing system. In order to qualify, candidates need to secure contributions from at least 150 residents of the district totaling at least $8,000. If they meet that threshold, the state will match the funds raised by individual contributions following a tiered system.

Webb’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.