BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The two candidates running in the democratic primary for New York’s 52nd Senate District participated in a political debate yesterday, August 17th.

Democrats Leslie Danks Burke and Lea Webb held the debate at the Temple Concord on Riverside Drive in Binghamton.

NewsChannel 34’s Jim Ehmke served as the moderator; asking both questions of his own, as well as ones submitted by voters in advance.

Danks Burke is a lawyer in Ithaca and says that she had fought for racial equity surrounding immigration and public housing issues.

When asked about housing challenges in our region, Danks Burke says that our property tax structure discourages people from becoming homeowners.

Democratic Candidate for New York State Senate, Leslie Danks Burke says, “We need to make sure that we are eliminating the deeply regressive property taxes across the state. That are killing are middle class, and that are making it harder to start a family and age in place in New York than anywhere else in the country.”

Lea Webb is a former Binghamton City Councilwoman and a lifelong resident of the Southern Tier. Now, she is a diversity and inclusion educator at Binghamton University.

Webb says she has passed legislation supporting equal pay for women, a city based human-rights commission, climate action plan, and job creation.

Democratic Candidate for New York State Senate, Lea Webb says, “We have a significantly aged housing stock, not only in the Southern Tier, but across the state. And I was so happy during my time on city council with programs such as Restore New York, that really gave municipalities tools and resources to address aging infrastructure as it pertains to homes.”

Supporters of both candidates attended the debate and over 80 people also viewed it over Zoom.

The Democratic Primary will take place this upcoming Tuesday, August 23rd.

Early voting has already begun. For more information on voting, visit