The three candidates vying for New York’s 21st congressional district seat — a race getting national attention — met in a televised debate in Plattsburgh Wednesday evening. And the enmity between the Republican and Democratic candidates was obvious.
On Monday two of the three candidates running for New York’s 21st Congressional district seat held separate events in Plattsburgh. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the hopefuls are sharpening their rhetoric with Election Day three weeks away.
In January, Congressman Bill Owens of New York’s 21st district announced he would retire. That set off a scramble to find a Democratic candidate. District chairs eventually chose filmmaker Aaron Woolf to run against Republican Elise Stefanik. But the Democratic campaign has been bumpy with polls showing Woolf 10 points behind and the House Majority Political Action Committee pulling nearly $300,000 in ads. Bill Owens has supported Woolf’s campaign, making joint appearances and calls to gain support. Owens, the first Democrat to represent the district since Reconstruction, tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that he’s not concerned about the challenges facing the Democratic candidate.
New York’s 21st Congressional district includes the Fort Drum military installation, and because there once was a large air force facility in Plattsburgh, many veterans live across the region. So any military moves made by the federal government — such as the current bombing in Syria and Iraq —pique the interest of constituents. Democratic Representative Bill Owens voted in favor of the resolution that authorized the training of the Syrian opposition. He says representatives recognized that in voting in favor of that, they were actually authorizing the air strikes in Syria and Iraq.
New York Congressman Bill Owens held a conference call this morning with fellow Democrat Aaron Woolf, who is seeking to replace the retiring Owens. The two criticized the Republican challenger in the 21st Congressional District race and called on her to support bills to enhance economic opportunity.