To the editor,

The Barclay family has reigned over Oswego County for the past three decades and it’s time to change.  Gail Tosh is the only candidate who has the guts and determination to run against Barclay not once but twice. Not only has she had the stamina to oppose him, but Gail has the intelligence, knowledge, desire and sincere wish to improve problems in this 120th Assembly District. Barclay has run unopposed for too long; he doesn’t even have to campaign.

As a farmer, educator, wife and mother, Gail will strive to improve our lives.  She’s had jobs in different fields including teaching English as a second language overseas, worked on two different continents, and returned to teach refugees in Syracuse.  She’s worked in management, education and belongs to several organizations such as NOW, Catholic Charities, and Animal Rescue.  Gail graduated from Empire State College with a degree in Social Theory, Social Structure and Change with a concentration in Leadership.  Gail is one of us and a grass roots candidate unlike her opponent.

In a state as wealthy as ours, she sees how we’ve been passed over for badly needed resources.   Gail will strive to get these resources to attack the drug crisis and poverty, address medical needs and mental health issues.  She cares about the environment, unemployment, and farmers’ needs that should be addressed more vigorously in Oswego County.  New minds, not status quo, are needed.

An important issue for Gail is the plight of the farmers.  She believes that the farm workers’ rights and the needs of farmers are not mutually exclusive.  She does not believe in putting band aids on issues but takes a holistic approach to protect workers while ensuring that farmers remain protected to stay in business.  Barclay has voted for the short term in favor of farmers while disregarding the needs of essential workers.  Gail is a farmer and is sensitive to both sides.  She has new ideas on sustainability with profitable farming in conjunction with environmental safety.  She has joined forces with nine other rural Democratic Assembly candidates in the UPWARD caucus in order to go to work for our rural communities while Barclay is stuck in old and outmoded rural philosophies, many of which have benefitted his family’s control of acres of land on both sides of the Salmon River.  Barclay voted “no” on many issues including extending workers benefits to farm laborers and “no” on amending labor laws.  

With drug abuse a major issue, he voted no to allow marijuana for opioid use addiction recommended by doctors as an intermediate treatment.  He voted no on drug law reform and drug law treatment (A8098.)  

Barclay also voted no on the following campaign issues:

• Limit campaign contributions by closing LLC Loophole (A776)

• Authorizing absentee voting  due to Risk of Contracting a Disease (S8015)

• Extends Voter Registration Cutoff (S6532)

• Authorizes Voter Pre-registration (A774)

• Establishes Early Voting Period (S1102)

Perhaps Mr. Barclay does not want to make it easier to vote.

Unemployment in our rural community has devastated our district resulting in one of the highest poverty rates in the state.  The district lacks sufficient electricity and internet access to meet and entice new business and jobs.

Gail’s knowledge of the nuclear industry, which District 120 relies on, is extensive and supported.  However, she also knows that clean energy is the future and we need to begin implementing plans with environmental safeguards.  Some of the environmental safeguards Barclay voted “no” on suspending hydraulic fracturing, “no” to prohibiting the use of Glyphosate, a dangerous compound to kill a wide assortment of weeds, “no” to requiring state-funded projects to consider effects of climate change, emergency  state park appropriations and more areas adversely affecting us.

The list goes on as “no” votes are counted in the “justfacts….” Listings, and time for “yes” votes to begin a new chapter for the 120th NY District by voting for Gail Tosh.  This singular 30 year Barclay reign has had its way long enough.  We need forward-looking leadership with new ideas, new knowledge, and new energy to improve the status of our rural and small city middle classes, not wealthy land owners.  It’s time to get out and vote; no excuses, no cynicism, no thinking it doesn’t count, no more apathy.  Vote, vote, vote to make it count.

Suzanne Stout


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