Ritchie handed Ag committee chair

For the second consecutive session, the Senator of the 48th State Senate district will chair that chamber’s agriculture committee.  But this time it’s not Cape Vincent farmer Darrel Aubertine.

It’s the St. Lawrence County clerk who defeated him.  Republican Patty Ritchie was born on a family farm, she says, in a press release about the appointment:

“Farming helped build Upstate, and can help revive our Upstate economy today. New York’s farmers are among the most innovative and resourceful in the nation. But they are burdened by excessive regulation and mandates that stifle their ability to respond to changes in the marketplace.

“My priority will be to work hand in hand with the farmers of Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties–as well as state officials and colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, including Ranking Republican Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush–to find ways to get government out of the way, help their businesses grow, create jobs, rebuild our local economies and serve as models to the rest of the nation.”

Interestingly, Ritchie will work closely with the man who she replaced.  Last week, Aubertine was nominated to be the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets.

It’s worth noting that Ritchie is a rookie lawmaker getting a chairmanship.

Republicans had lost a district they had owned for more than a century.  Now that Ritchie has won it back, it appears the GOP is willing to take steps to hold it.

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