LIVERPOOL — After announcing in January that she would run for the position of 4th District County Legislator, Democrat Kathy Zabinski changed her mind. Last week she revealed on Facebook that she is running instead for the job of supervisor in the town of Salina.
“This decision was actually an easy one,” Zabinski wrote on Facebook. “Not only would I be representing the area I live in (Galeville), I would be representing the area I grew up in (Lyncourt). This is an opportunity I could not say no to.”
A retired county corrections officer, Zabinski ran for county legislature in 2019 against 4th District Republican incumbent Judy Tassone. A political neophyte, Zabinski tallied a respectable 2,282 votes while losing to the incumbent’s 2,924.
As the official designee of the Salina Town Democratic Committee, Zabinski expects to face off in November against Republican Nick Paro. Salina’s first-term First Ward councilor, Paro was designated to run for supervisor by the town GOP — of which he’s chairman — after current Town Supervisor Colleen Gunnip announced her intention to run as a Republican for the 4th District legislative post.
For his part, Paro welcomes Zabinski’s opposition.
“I welcome Kathy to the race, and I look forward to a healthy civic debate about policy and visions for the future for the town of Salina and its residents,” he wrote in an email. “While I understand her initial interests were at the county level, the town of Salina is always better off with an engaged and interested constituency.”
Zabinski thinks she’s “better suited” to the supervisor’s position than to a job as county legislator.
“As supervisor I would have more direct impact on the community,” she said in a telephone interview. “It’s just a better fit for me.”
A retired sergeant of corrections at the county’s Jamesville Correctional Facility, Zabinski also served as longtime president of Civil Service Employees Association Local 834.
The town of Salina has a population of 33,710, while the county’s 4th District — which includes the western part of Salina, Liverpool, Geddes and a sliver of Syracuse’s north side — has a population of less than 24,000.
The designee of the county GOP, Gunnip appears to be the favorite in the race for the 4th District legislative seat, but she may have to face a June primary challenge from Village of Liverpool Deputy Mayor Christina Fadden.
The Democrats have designated newcomer Stephon Williams, a coding analyst for Molina Healthcare, to run in the 4th District in November.