94th Assembly District: Brian Higbie

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When Brian Higbie attended a Yorktown Town Board meeting during the summer to learn about a law that was being changed to ease requirements for developers, he never expected a few months later to be a candidate for the 95th State Assembly District, which covers Yorktown and Somers and four towns in Putnam County.

Higbie, 42, a two-year resident of Yorktown, spoke at that same meeting and was applauded by the audience. Soon thereafter, someone suggested he seek the office being vacated by Assemblyman Steve Katz (R/Mohegan Lake), a seat that has been held by a Republican for the last 134 years.

He initially declined, but later decided to throw his hat in the political ring for the first time after no other Democrat stepped forward.

“It wasn’t something I was desiring,” Higbie said. “At minimum I could get someone on the ballot and give people a choice. I’m working hard, knocking on doors. I’m really enjoying the process of running. I’m putting my convictions to the test. I think we need a dose of democracy.”

What will make being on the ballot this year even more special is his wife recently became a U.S. citizen and will be voting for the first time.

“I don’t want people to vote for me because of my party affiliation. Vote for me because I’m the right guy to do the job,” Higbie said. “If I go up there (Albany) I won’t get lost in the woods. I think my opponent is working on a career in politics. He will be voting on bills on how he is told to vote. I have more experience and more knowledge. I have the right priorities.”

Higbie is a general practice attorney who works with clients on property tax grievances, contracts, real estate and estate planning. He said he has also represented a lot of condominium and co-op owners in Westchester and Putnam.

One of his top priorities as a state assemblyman would be trying to lower property taxes, which he said has become too much of a burden for homeowners.

“I think there’s a lot we can do. We’re all working harder and longer and I am running to lift more hard working people into the middle class,” Higbie said. “I’m not that ideological. I’m more about practical solutions.”

Higbie said he would also like to lend a hand to small businesses.

“We need to have an understanding of how the local economy works and what businesses need,” Higbie explained. “We need a strong Main Street to attract people.”

On the 2% tax cap instituted in the state a few years ago, Higbie said it had “some good things, but there needs to be a move beyond 2%, like it or not.”

“That’s a good thing when there’s a cap and it forces people to come up with creative solutions to lower costs,” he said.

Despite being at a financial disadvantage with his opponent, who has had several mailings funded by the state Republican Committee, Higbie, who will also appear on the Working Families line, said he is running a grassroots campaign with volunteers who believe in his message.

“I’m doing this on my own steam. I won’t be sending any mailings out. They’re too expensive. I have too much respect for their (residents) hard-earned dollars to send out a piece of mail,” Higbie said. “I’m much more aware of how things work politically and where the problem spots are, and I think I have the solutions to it. I have a pretty clear perspective of how things are not going quite right for homeowners or small business owners in this district.”




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