Ann Marie Heizmann ’00 has thrown her hat in the ring to represent the 131st District of the New York State Assembly, which includes Geneva. She is one of four GOP contenders on the ballot for the Republication primary on June 23.
Since graduating from William Smith with a degree in chemistry, Heizmann has held a variety of jobs ranging from computer operator to marketing director. She served as a lab instructor at HWS following her graduation, and most recently was an analytical chemist and trainer for Inficon.
As the owner of Meadeville Farm in Seneca Falls, where she has worked full-time since 2008, Heizmann’s interest in the needs and rights of upstate New York farmers has always been central to her advocacy work, she says. Also currently serving as president of the Seneca County Farm Bureau (SCFB), she says she’s aware of the realities of life for farmers.
“[Farming] is not limited to putting seeds in the dirt and letting them grow,” she explains. “When you drive by a field and see a combine, grain buggy and an 18-wheeler collecting grain you are looking at $1 million in equipment. Agriculture is business — in fact it is the No. 1 industry in New York State.”
Heizmann believes that the key issues facing New York are largely economic in nature. Lowering taxes is one pillar of her platform; reducing regulations on small business owners and farmers is another. She is also concerned with the upstate N.Y. watershed and keeping it safe for use by upstate residents.
“As a former chemist, working [for Inficon] with Homeland Security and the Department of Defense on keeping our water supply safe, I believe I can bring insight to a problem that is especially important for our community, while allowing farms to prosper as well,” she said recently in a question-and-answer session with the Finger Lakes Times.
Heizmann says she is ready to serve New York on a larger scale, and looks forward to leveraging relationships and networks she’s already built on behalf of the state’s citizens. “Being in the assembly would give me the ability to expand those networks and have a larger influence,” she says.
Known for her volunteer work in the community, Heizmann has served as treasurer of the Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension and with the Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity and Little League.
“I came from a family that always gave back and was politically aware,” Heizmann says. “I grew up doing community service.”