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NY-22 congressional primary ballot: Steve Wells hopes to keep the seat red

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Steve Wells for Congress
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The moment newly drawn district lines allowed Republican Steve Wells to run, he quickly got in the race.

"There are three primary issues that I'm running on: it's skyrocketing inflation in this economy, number two is crime, and number three is the open southern border that's really causing terrible problems with the flow of drugs that are coming right up here to Syracuse and Utica, all over this district I've found as I've traveled around, killing all kinds of people, young people, with fentanyl, so it's a real problem," Wells said.

Wells has been endorsed by Rep. Elise Stefanik, State Senator John DeFransisco, and all four GOP County Chairs in New York's 22nd. He believes if he is the winner of the primary, he will keep the seat red.

Wells said addressing the fentanyl crisis and tightening U.S. border security are essential.

"These drugs are flowing from the Southern border, of course there's much more human misery: the human trafficking, there's rewarding, the cartels, the coyotes, there's nothing good that's coming from it. So we have these major inflation, crime, and border security issues to deal with," Wells said.

He said voters are sharing their security concerns with gun violence and crime.

"Not just here in Syracuse, in Utica, in Rome, every aspect of this district crime is out of control, people do not feel safe. They don't feel safe going to the mall, they're afraid of getting shot. Every day you wake up, you turn on the tv or you go online, you see a stabbing or a shooting it's just unbelievable," Wells said.

Wells is a former criminal prosecutor and lives in Madison County. He is in a two-way race with Brandon Williams who has the Conservative party endorsement.

Wells applauds the recent passage of the CHIPS Act and thinks it’s a great example of bipartisanship. He feels Clay would benefit if a semiconductor manufacturer locates there. He owns a successful business in Liverpool and says he saw signs of inflation well in advance.

"The problem is the policies in Washington just threw gasoline on the fire and fueled it. When you have a supply and demand imbalance, what they did, they did the exact wrong thing. They spent trillions of dollars, which increases demand, but yet there was no way, there was no supplies that were coming online adequately. You know, normally the market moves very quickly to address supply and demand and balance. That's the magic of our free market economy, but you see that's not what happened here," Wells said.

This story is a part of our series of candidate profiles in New York's 22nd congressional district race. You can find all candidate profiles here.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.