PITTSFORD — A 2016 electoral defeat could be the basis for a redemption story.

In November 2016, Democratic Candidate for State Assembly District 133, Barbara Baer was defeated by a sound 57-43 majority by Joe Errigo (R-Conesus).

Armed with more name recognition among likely voters and experience on key issues, Baer is back on the ballot for another shot at the seat.

This time, the candidate took a wait and see approach. When no other Democrats decided to seek the seat, she stepped forward once again.

"I thought I had a duty to the people who voted for me in 2016 and supported me to articulate the values that we believe in," she said. "This is the way I can do the most for other people."

Following the 2016 election, Baer returned to her roots as a lawyer and social work professional, volunteering her time with "Elder Justice," an initiative lobbying to legislatively mandate minimum staffing for assisted living facilities. Defense of seniors, according to the candidate will be one of the pillars of her campaign.

"When someone rings the bell for help, we want to make sure they get it. In some of the worst nursing homes, people are lying there alone for a long time," she said. "If elected it's one of the things I will push."

Working in the Assembly, Baer helped work on the state's first senior prescription drug plan (EPIC), subsidizing those making less than $8,000 per year.

Following the election, Baer also continued to engage the people she encountered on issues of public policy, and found an open and energized public that was ready to engage "despite the theater of government and politics."

In 2018, Baer may square off with two opponents, Republican Primary winner Marjorie Byrnes (R-Pittsford), and sitting Assemblyman Joe Errigo (R-Conesus). Despite having just 50 days until the election, Baer believes that she can win.

Byrnes and Errigo just finished a heated primary, where Errigo accused Byrnes of paying for the endorsement of the Livingston County Conservative Party, and Byrnes accusing Errigo of making false allegations — both of which are being examined by the Joint Committee on Public Ethics.

"It's not the core of my campaign, but they have to live with the consequences of what they said and wrote in the primary," Baer said, pointing to mailers accusing each other of corrupt acts.

Drawing some contrast, Baer said, "For me it's all about finding common ground."

Additionally, she struck some apologetically progressive notes, backing the SAFE Act, saying that after several years of implementation, there's proof that it's working to keep guns out of the hands of people who would do harm.

"Hunters and sportsmen are finding that they have the same rights they always did. Nothing has changed for the good guys," she said. "When people go to bed at night, they're not waking up thinking about the SAFE Act, they're thinking about why they have to work two jobs to make ends meet, or when their next raise will be." 

On school safety, she advocated for a state fund that is controlled by local stakeholders, allowing administrators and parents to decide on how best to implement security standards.

The Democrat says that her direct experience with crafting legislation gives here an edge in making policy that will drive job creation. Baer has spearheaded state investigations into elder care and elder poverty issues.

On the other hand Baer says that Byrnes experience as a prosecutor, district attorney and city court judge doesn't fit the bill of Assembly-person.

"That's experientially very different than legislating for policy," she said. "There's a difference in vision and strategy between the judiciary and legislature."

This time around, Baer hopes to capitalize on that energy, and she's working hard to make sure that Democrats and non-affiliated voters alike bring that energy to the polls. She's been hosting joint meetings with Congressional candidates Tracy Mitrano (D-NY-23), Nate McMurray (D-NY-27), and Joe Marelli (D-NY-25).

"Elections are the great equalizer," she said, encouraging vigorous debates among the candidates. "I have just as much chance as the guy with $1 million."

To learn more about the candidacy of Barbara Baer, visit her Facebook fan page.