My name is Howard Leib and I am running for the New York State Senate from the 51st Senatorial District. I am writing to introduce myself and to ask for your support.
I am a lawyer, but I am an entertainment lawyer. I specialize in children's entertainment. In short, I am not one of those evil lawyers you see on TV or read about in the paper. I have fought for years to protect the vote of all voters, not just those of my party. I am also an educator. I teach college and graduate students, as well as students looking for a careers as paralegals. I have taught in the classroom for schools such as New York University and online for Kaplan University and National Paralegal College. I have assisted hundreds of students to achieve their dreams, helping them get into law school by showing them how to score higher on the LSATs.
I am a union member (UAW), the child of teachers, the grandson of immigrants and shopkeepers, and the great grandson of farmers. My wife is native to our area, as are my in laws. My father in law is a renowned hunter and outdoors man. My wife, Marcie, owns her own massage studio, Deeply Devoted Massage, and creates jobs for others. I have been a manager for a test prep company, responsible for hiring others. I have lost a job due to downsizing, and know what it means to worry about health insurance and paying the bills. I can relate to the problems of our fellow citiznes better than someone who has worked for the government all his life as part of a dysfunctional legislature.
My opponent is a 26 year incumbent. Many have told me this is an impossible race. I do not agree. I know this is not going to be an easy fight, but I also do not think it is impossible. I will have to show voters that I am worthy of their vote. I believe both my personal story and my professional background have much to offer.
As I said, this will not be an easy race. The other side is well funded by the major insurance companies who accounted for almost 45% of all categorized contributions to his last campaign (it helps to be the chair of the Insurance Committee). So far this election cycle, he has raised over $165,000, nearly half of it from the insurance industry and nearly a quarter of it from Albany addresses.
Another difference between my opponent and I. We live in a Senatorial District that spans parts of nine counties. It was hand drawn by my opponent for the sole purpose of getting himself reelected. He believes in gerrymandering. I, on the other hand, sued leaders of my own party, as well as the GOP in Federal Court to try and establish independent redistricting and, though we achieved it for Congressional districts, we did not get independent Assembly or Senate districts.
On our side we have the fact that my opponent has been in office 26 years and has never worked anywhere but Albany. He is the poster child for Albany, and all that is wrong with it. He is a career politician and a party hack, a "go along to get along" guy, who never leads, passing decision making responsibilities (though not the credit) to others so that he is never seen as controversial. Part of my job will be to convince voters that 26 years of this is enough.
I am convinced that a fully funded candidate could beat the incumbent. His support is a mile wide and an inch deep. The fact is, however, that this is likely to be a shoestring campaign.
I will need support from all of you. Support to collect signatures and get on the ballot, support to get the word out, and support to get the vote out. The 51st Senatorial District is huge, three and a half hours from end to end. I cannot do this alone. I need you and your involvement. I want to have a regular dialog with you. I want your insights and input. I cannot guarantee we will agree on everything, but both now, and if I am elected, I will always listen.
I urge you to reach out to me throughout the campaign, not only with ideas that can help me, but with how I can help you and how, together, we can move forward in the process of returning New York to the greatness it once enjoyed.
To help you get to know me better, you can click to see my resume, my CV, and issues I want to bring up in the campaign. I welcome your support, your vote, your enthusiasm, and, of course, your contributions.
I thank you for your time and attention and, most of all, for your support as we seek to take back the State Senate and make New York, once again, a state that does great things.