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Sen. Gillibrand is One of Many Politicians to Try to Connect With Constituents at 2018 NYS Fair

Scott Willis

Anyone who goes to the New York State Fair knows there’s no shortage of food, games, rides, shows, music, and other activities.  There’s also no lack of elected officials or candidates seeking office.  Friday was no exception, as senator Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by the wine seminar room in the horticulture building, probably much to the surprise of the other guests.

"Thank you all so much.  Let's have our wine tasting!"

Gillibrand was joined by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, and assemblymembers Bill Magnarelli and Al Stirpe, among others. 

Afterward, Gillibrand spoke to the media about this week’s developments in Washington, including the guilty plea by President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.  She says Trump should resign, but since that’s unlikely, Gillibrand says it’s the senate’s job to make sure Robert Mueller’s investigation is protected and allowed to continue.

"Before we can do our job of oversignt and accountability, he [Mueller] has do finish his job of getting the facts.  The president has been implicated by his former laywer in federal crimes.  But until Mueller concludes his investigation with either an indictment or a report, it would be premature for Congress to act."

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball share a cup of maple ice cream. Maple Day at the fair is Monday.

Many might not know Gillibrand is up for re-election.  She’s facing a challenge by Republican Chele Farley, who has repeatedly said she has only passed one bill in her nearly 10 years in office.  Gillibrand says it’s a talking point President Trump has repeated, and it isn’t true.

As commander-in-chief, he should know I led the charge had helped to pass a repeal of don't ask, don't tell.  But he's too focused on trying to ban transgender troops who are already honorably serving our country.  He should also know because of the Chris Collins indictment that I wrote and passed the Stock Act, which bans insider trading by members of Congress."

Collins is the Buffalo-area congressmember charged with illegal insider trading as a major investor and board member of an Australian pharmaceutical company.  The parade of politicians will continue throughout the fair.  Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro will be there Sunday.  Senator Chuck Schumer might make an appearance when he stops in Syracuse on Monday.

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