New Berlin mayor eyes seat in Congress

·2 min read

Dec. 3—It's not yet know what New York's Congressional and Legislative districts will look like after redistricting, but a local Republican said he is considering a run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

New Berlin Mayor Peter Lennon has announced the formation of an exploratory committee for Congress. Lennon "will begin meeting with and listening to residents throughout the Southern Tier and Central New York to discuss his potential candidacy," a media release from Pete for Upstate said.

Lennon, a native of Chenango County, is a retired Army major general. He retired from the military in 2017, the release said.

Lennon spoke of the "underrepresentation of a large part of southern Upstate New York" in the release, citing the pending retirement of Congressman Tom Reed and the uncertainty of redistricting. "Under the current dynamic, there will be no Member of Congress residing in this area of New York, which represents a landmass larger than Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island combined," the release said.

Under current district borders, Lennon would be facing a fellow Republican, 22nd District Rep. Claudia Tenney. New York will lose one seat in redistricting, however, so Chenango County may no longer be in the same district.

"One thing is clear, with the absence of a Representative living within the Southern part of upstate from the western border to the Hudson River, many residents of this state will not have a voice, turning central and southern New York into drive-through country," Lennon said. "I'm exploring a run for Congress to ensure the nearly 1.5 million people not only have that voice, but have a strong, effective voice."

Lennon is the director of the Chenango County United Way's Micro-loan Project and is involved in veteran and military support programs, the release said. He is a member of workforce training and entrepreneurial initiatives, and recently served as a high school mentor in Utica's College's Young Scholars Program. In New Berlin, he is active in Rotary and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. He was elected mayor New Berlin this year.

Lennon's website is at PeteForUPstate.com. His Facebook page is at Facebook.com/PeteForUPstate.

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