Junior Jon Goldsmith will attempt to unseat incumbent republican Jack Driscoll as the representative for 13th district of the Monroe County Legislature on Nov. 8.
“At a time when young people are turning their backs on the political process and leaving our area, I’m the right candidate at the right time,” Goldsmith said. “Monroe County is my home now.”
Monroe County’s 13th district lies south of the River Campus, encompassing the majority of the town of Henrietta. There are 29 individual districts in Monroe County, and one representative is elected from each district into the legislature. Legislators convene to decide the laws and policies that affect every resident of the county, and each legislative district contains approximately 25,000 people.
Goldsmith has been officially endorsed by the Monroe County Democratic Party, which fields candidates for each contested legislature seat. The legislature is currently 59 percent Republican.
Facing Goldsmith in the election will be Jack Driscoll, a republican who has held office since 2001. Although some believe that Driscoll may have the experience to overcome Goldsmith, the democratic candidate is ready for a spirited campaign.
“People who say we’re a long-shot campaign haven’t seen us work yet,” Goldsmith said. “This will be a candidacy we all can be proud of.”
Goldsmith came to UR after finishing high school at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut where he worked in student government.
After having gaining political experience in high school, Goldsmith came to college intending to make his way into local politics. Majoring in political science, he immediately sought an internship at the local Democratic Caucus upon arrival at UR.
“Public service and political activism are my passions,” Goldsmith said. “I’m not afraid to be independent or to stand up for what I know to be right.”
The upcoming election will require Goldsmith to muster all of his political talents, because the 13th district race is important to both parties. Along with the Democratic Party, Goldsmith has also been endorsed by the Working Families Party and the United Auto Workers.
In addition, Goldsmith has already raised $10,000 to fund his campaign. Over 120 campaign workers have pledged their support to help get Goldsmith elected.
Goldsmith’s published platform places a strong emphasis on stimulating the local Henrietta economy. First on his list are tax cuts, both in sales and property taxes. According to Goldsmith’s platform, lowering property taxes will bring much-needed new businesses to the area. Another Goldsmith priority is to keep young professionals in the area.
“This is a community with a future that can be as great as its past,” said Goldsmith. “It will take a lot of hard work and new ways of thinking to make that future a reality. I want to be a part of it.”
Goldsmith also intends to use his position to improve safety in the Henrietta community, appropriating funds to repair roads and improve safety devices such as railroad crossings and streetlights.
In the long term, Goldsmith wants to promote both business and tourism in Henrietta.
By maintaining low tax rates and promoting business infrastructure, he hopes to attract and keep young professionals while at the same time making the community a better one in which to live.
The upcoming election is a clear show-down between ideologies and generations. Driscoll, the incumbent, is a 30-year resident of Henrietta.
“My decision to run for Monroe County Legislature in the 13th District might be seen by some as a first foray into politics,” said Goldsmith. “In fact, it’s just the next step for me.”
Clearly, Goldsmith has confidence in his political future. This election, for him, is a first step on a path that he hopes to make a career.
“Each and every citizen who pays taxes expects government to perform as it should,” said Goldsmith. “There’s a tendency to forget about the real mission, the real purpose for being there. I’d like to serve as a reminder.”
Majarian can be reached at email@example.com.