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Francis Conole reflects on what the Democratic primary win means to his campaign

Francis Conole won the Democratic Congressional Primary on August 23.
Conole for Congress Instagram
Francis Conole won the Democratic Congressional Primary on August 23.

The newly minted Democratic nominee for the 22nd congressional district says he will be laser-focused on connecting with Central New Yorkers of all political stripes in the march to the general election. Francis Conole says he’s relieved and grateful for the opportunity after his primary win and will continue his commitment to protecting freedoms and building the economy.

"I've never really focused on a partisan political agenda, but on the problems we face and on the mission. That's an element of patriotism. That's the approach I'm taking on this campaign and it's the approach I'll take when serving in congress," Conole said.

He says he’s heard from voters in both parties that they’re tired of the extremes and the chaos.

"Taking away a freedom, a hard-fought freedom that women have had for over 50 years, that's extreme, and that runs counter to our values. People wanted to bring weapons and guns and AR-15s to public events, that is extreme. Attacks on our capitol, that's extreme. I think Americans, Central New Yorkers, they're exhausted with the extremes and they want common sense," Conole said.

Conole will take on GOP nominee Brandon Williams, whom Conole says has extreme positions on guns and abortion that are out of step with most Central New Yorkers.

Williams has not returned numerous requests for an interview before and since the primary.

Williams and the GOP may try to link Conole and his party to what they see as the failures of the Biden administration to handle inflation, among other things. Conole says first, he’s not part of the problem.

"I'm not coming into this as a politician in Washington and I do think that Washington politicians, both Democrats and Republicans have moved too slowly to take on some of the issues and some of the elements of inflation," Conole said.

Conole says he released a plan back in January calling on a tax cut for middle-class Americans and a temporary suspension of the gas tax to ease inflation pain.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at