HUDSON — Incumbent Republican Assemblyman Jake Ashby is running for re-election in the 107th Assembly District.
Ashby was first elected to the post in 2018. He grew up in Castleton and graduated from Hudson Valley Community College in 2000 and earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Keuka College in 2002.
“I think our experiences set us apart. Having a background in health care, owning and operating a small business, working in a local college, are all things that sets my team apart. I’m also a veteran, and I’ve served in the military,” Ashby said.
Ashby served eight years in the Army Reserves. He completed combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and led a civil affairs team on a humanitarian mission in Malawi, Africa. He earned two Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation medal and the Combat Action badge.
Ashby has worked as an occupational therapist and rehabilitation director, as an instructor at Maria College and started his own practice in 2014.
Ashby was elected a Rensselaer County legislator in 2017 and won a seat in the Assembly in a special election in 2018 to fill the seat vacated by Steve McLaughlin, who was elected Rensselaer County Executive.
One of the most important issues facing the state is restoring balance and creating a working state Legislature, Ashby said. It is imperative for the majority leaders in both houses to come together so all members can work on legislation, he said.
“The governor has a disproportionate amount of power right now and we need to get back to work as a Legislature in order to start functioning as a state again,” Ashby said.
He has sponsored bills supporting veterans’ needs, clean water initiatives and ethics reform.
“I’m really proud of some of the veterans’ legislation that we’ve drafted and submitted and gotten bipartisan support for,” Ashby said.
Among the bills Ashby has sponsored include legislation assisting veterans with legal services, creating an alert system for missing military members and protecting veterans from unlawful housing discrimination.
Ashby also worked on legislation to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of small businesses have been affected,” Ashby said. “We drafted and submitted legislation that would provide a $5,000 tax credit for small businesses and modifications that they had to make due to COVID. We’ve gotten a tremendous amount of bipartisan support for that.”
Environmental legislation sponsored by Ashby includes tax reimbursement in areas where toxic contamination devalued land, amending public health laws and a conservation law to regulate a maximum level of 1,4-Dioxane, identified as a likely human carcinogen.