TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—New York State Assemblymember Dr. Anna Kelles has announced her intention to run for a second term representing the 125th District, which includes much of Tompkins County.

Kelles is in the middle of her first term after winning the seat in 2020, emerging from a crowded Democratic primary featuring a bevy of prominent officials from Tompkins County and Cortland County. Previously, she had served on the Tompkins County Legislature.

“Our district is so vibrant,” Kelles said. “We are a hub of academic institutions, a center of rich agriculture, a hotbed of entrepreneurship, and a haven of gorgeous natural resources. I feel both proud and protective of our communities and I am inspired every single day to serve our engaged and informed electorate as our state Assemblywoman.”

The announcement also quiets some speculation that Kelles would run for State Senate once that district is redrawn. Leslie Danks Burke has already announced her Democratic challenge to Republican incumbent Tom O’Mara in the local state senate race.

While the New York State government has endured an intensely turbulent year, between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, revelations about former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the early parts of the pandemic and damning allegations of sexual misconduct that led to Cuomo’s resignation. During that, though, Kelles forged a name for herself through environmental advocacy and pushing regulation on the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry in New York.

Kelles’ announcement also touts her record on boosting corporate taxation, helping school nurses and more during her first year in office. Perhaps her most visible local action was pushing for the preservation of Bell Station, which was slated for auction by NYSEG before public pressure mounted and the agency began to negotiate with the Finger Lakes Land Trust instead.

“It has been an incredible honor to represent my community in the state legislature during this difficult time,” Kelles said. “I am excited to continue to fight to pass legislation that supports our community as we rebuild and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and face the threats that the Climate Crisis brings to our region and our planet. I would be deeply honored to have the support of my community as I continue this work.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at