Herkimer County businessman Joseph Chilelli has announced his candidacy for the New York State Assembly seat now occupied by Marc Butler.
Chilelli, 45, is a Democrat and a former Herkimer County legislator. He is the owner of La Galleria, an importing business specializing in antiques and Italian giftware.
Butler , R-Newport, currently represents the 117th Assembly District, which includes Fulton County. Under a redistricting plan, the new 118th Assembly District will include both Fulton and Hamilton counties.
On his website, Chilelli said he wants to develop a regional plan with a vision for the area's future.
"Each community or municipality in the region should put forward a plan to help promote our individual communities' uniqueness and attractions," he said on his website.
He wants to take a hard look at the state budget to find opportunities to save money and reduce what he calls unnecessary spending.
"[The state should] not support property tax increases without appropriate spending cuts," he said on his website. "Reduce the burden of taxes so our state can attract more businesses and entrepreneurs to come and invest in New York."
He called for more state support for the state's agricultural industry.
"Grants must be sought to help farmers sustain the family farm," he said. "We need to remove all barriers on dairy farmers and make it a free-market system."
Chilelli and his wife have two children ages 13 and 17.
"My background and family has instilled in me a strong work ethic coupled with problem-solving skills, which I hope to apply and take with me to Albany," he said.
He said he enjoys farming in his spare time. He grows fruit trees, vegetables and grapes and has created a small vineyard, "one of only a few in Herkimer County," he said.