Fresh from graduating from Cornell University this year, Austin Morgan earned the Democratic Party nod in the race for the vacant seat in the 57th Senate District. The native of the Cattaraugus County town of Freedom says he got into the race to help "those little towns that have been voiceless for too long."
The young Democrat faces a difficult road to victory over his Republican opponent, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello.
According to Frank Puglisi, the Democratic Party Chairman for Cattaraugus County, there are 4,000 more Republicans than Democrats in the county. He says that disparity can be found throughout the rest of the massive district which also covers all of Allegany and Chautauqua Counties and part of Livingston County. Of the 17 seats in the Cattaraugus County Legislature, only five are held by Democrats.
Puglisi holds out hope the nearly 20 percent of district voters who are unaffiliated with either major party choose his candidate. He also says county Democrats have been energized by recent troubles involving local Republicans.