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Williams wants to 'solve problems' not play politics as 22nd district's new congressional rep

Brandon Williams stands in front of a blurred out American flag with a red tint over it.
Brandon Williams
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Twitter
Brandon Williams 2022 elected to represent New York's 22nd Congressional District

Congressmember-elect Brandon Williams was in Washington D.C. this week for orientation as he prepares to represent New York's 22nd Congressional District. Since his win, Williams has been focusing on benefiting his constituents and party but is getting some pushback.

Only 50.7% of voters chose Williams in the close race, which presents the problem of entering a divided district. But Williams wants residents to get engaged and set aside the distortion and negative ads leading up to the election.

"I hope that the voters and citizens of Central New York will take time to get to know me and probably get to know me for the first time," Williams said. "I'm here to represent everybody. We're going to figure that out; we're going to have good constituent services to make sure that we're doing our mission in the district."

Williams said his mission is to put his business, military and energy experience to work for residents and the economy. Williams has already met with the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, a business solution nonprofit.

“My message to them is: how can I be helpful?," Williams said. "What committees do you want to see us on so we can meet the needs of Central New York? That spans everything from ways and means, transportation, infrastructure with the big I-81 project, all the way to education because that’s a critical thing we have to solve to have the right workforce here in Central New York."

However, addressing inflation and energy costs might be drowned out by the political agenda of Republicans, who now have a slim majority in the house.

The caucus almost immediately announced plans to investigate President Joe Biden, his son, Hunter, Biden's border policies and the Afghanistan withdrawal. Williams said the House needs to provide accountability and oversight, but not to the point of dominating the GOP’s agenda.

“I think there are some legitimate investigations that will go forward," Williams said. "But I think overall it’s a distraction. Frankly, I’m not focused or motivated by those things. I’m here to solve problems—that’s why I ran."

Another force driving the GOP is former president Donald Trump, who, this week, announced his running again in 2024. Williams said he wants to see a Republican in the White House and has no regrets about voting for Trump twice.

“At the same time, I’ve never met him, I’ve never spoken with him and I’ve never been to a Trump event," Williams said. "I am very interested to see who else gets into the race. The message, particularly from the Empire State, is they want common sense governance, not grievance governance, and that’s quite frankly what I’m all about."

Democratic candidate Francis Conole has conceded to Williams in the race. The results should be certified by the state by Thanksgiving.

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 srwillis@syr.edu.