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Brocton native Perdue challenging Goodell for NY Assembly seat

April 28, 2016
By Jimmy McCarthy ( , Westfield Republican

A Brocton native is vying for a seat in the New York State Assembly.

Jason Perdue, a retail store manager, believes county residents deserve representation from a person who has lived through and understands the daily challenges. After speaking with residents and hearing their stories, Perdue said Chautauqua County needs a representative who's willing to vote for the people. On April 7, the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee gave Perdue the endorsement.

"At the end of the day, this campaign is about making sure every resident is correctly represented, and we have not had that representation from our current assemblyman," said Perdue, who is president of the Jamestown Pride Society. "This is a campaign about giving residents a clear voice with a representative who not only understands the struggles, but has the solutions."

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Jason Perdue

The seat is currently held by Assemblyman Andy Goodell, a Republican.

Perdue grew up in the village of Brocton with his mother, father and sister. Despite having little money, Perdue said his parents made sure they had everything they needed. Perdue's father retired from the Army after serving in Vietnam. He passed away from the effects of Agent Orange at the time Perdue was 16. Even though it devastated his family, Perdue said his mother did everything she could for the family.

From early on, Perdue said he experienced how families struggled in the county and how they fought hard to succeed. He graduated from Brocton Central School and moved to Jamestown to take criminal justice courses at Jamestown Community College.

"I entered work in retail to get by, finding it really tough in a very difficult economy," he said. "From working extremely hard and long hours to pay bills while struggling to put food on the table, I was promoted within several different jobs (before getting to) where I'm at today as a successful retail store manager."

Perdue went back to school and attended Jamestown Business College for business management and accounting.

With a number of issues facing the county and state, Perdue said one of main priorities must surround the drug epidemic. Perdue said he's partnered with several organizations to relay a solution as addiction has taken "too many lives, broken families and diminished communities."

"This is a challenge that is now expanding throughout the entire county as we see troubling news daily," he said. "There is no better way to honor the lives of those we have lost than by giving hope and an answer in the form of a solution."

More jobs and opportunities is another goal for the Democratic challenger. Perdue said he supports a $15 minimum wage which allows workers to support their families and be more successful. In a county where individuals continue to struggle, Perdue said working families cannot afford to have a representative fighting against their best interest and go against a wage increase.

"Research shows that an increase will stimulate the economy by immediately putting more money in their pocket which they will spend locally, assisting local businesses through sales increases while reducing employee turnover with well-paid workers," he said. "In turn, this will eliminate high turnover and the need for businesses to invest in training costs over and over again."

Equal opportunity in the workplace and within the community is a priority as Perdue said he will work with community leaders to break down barriers. Perdue said he will ensure no one is left behind by partnering with communities to organize festivals and events which highlight, educate and welcome participation among all residents.

"The makeup of Chautauqua County represents what America is all about," he said. "(It's) a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds which come together to form one very unique community, and this should be celebrated."

Overall, Perdue said he's faced the day-to-day challenges and has met with many residents who have shared concerns within the community. Perdue said he's worked his entire life to give a voice to the voiceless, and he pledges to fight for everyone.

"These issues cannot be solved part-time. It's time residents have an assemblyman fighting for their best interests full-time," he said. "I'm passionate about my work and I am extremely passionate about the community."



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