Voters from Binghamton to Cortland, Utica to Lake Ontario are choosing a congress member in the expansive 22nd congressional district to replace retiring Richard Hanna. Hanna was considered a moderate republican, voted pretty green on environmental issues, and made news when he pledged to back Clinton over Trump this election. His replacement will be either a democrat, a much more conservative republican, or an independent hard to categorize. Democrat Kim Myers favors more investment in schools and creating jobs through rebuilding infrastructure and green energy. She also makes a pledge to seniors, dealing with a small social security raise, but a roll back in other benefits.
“What I can promise you is that I look at everything.” Myers says, “I don’t say, yes! Look it we gave you a raise in social security! By the way you’re not going to get as much food stamps, rent; you’re not going to get anything because you have to look at the bottom line.”
Republican Claudia Tenney is an avowed opponent of Obamacare, and any increased gun control measures. She calls herself a true conservative protecting the borders and U.S. jobs.
“We need to create jobs, not send jobs over sea,” Tenney says. We need to sell our goods and services overseas. The trade deficit is so great now because of these so call free trade deals that we need to reverse that trend.”
A wild card in the race has been Martin Babinec who lost a GOP primary, but is self-financed an independent run. He’s heard one key issue as he’s campaigned.
“The jobs priority is the number one priority. There’s no question about it.” Babinec says, “Because that is on top of most voters who are tired of seeing too many people move away. We have lost a million people in population in the last ten years in Upstate New York and it has largely to do with employment.”
He believes a better economy will help clear up problems such as opioid abuse. He’s also an opponent of Obamacare, favoring an open market.
Whomever voters choose tomorrow, there will be a political shift in the 22nd congressional district.