June 29, 2017 • Syracuse.com

Brindisi to Tenney: Name-calling never created a single job in Upstate NY

WASHINGTON -- Before Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi announced his campaign for Congress on Wednesday, Rep. Claudia Tenney launched a preemptive strike.

Tenney, R-New Hartford, called Brindisi a "slick politician" who has been a rubber stamp for corruption and failed liberal policies.

Is it a preview of a campaign that will be defined by bitter personal politics?

Brindisi, D-Utica, who got to know Tenney when they served neighboring districts in the state Assembly, said he hopes the congressional campaign will be about issues, and not marked by caustic personal attacks.

"I think that we are going to have policy disagreements," Brindisi told Syracuse.com. "But I would hope that she keeps the political sniping to a minimum because name-calling never created a single job in this district and doesn't help the middle class."

Brindisi, a three-term state Assembly member, said he plans to run a campaign focused on the future of Upstate New York, particularly jobs and the economy, healthcare and education.

He also hopes to appeal to independents and Republicans in the 22nd Congressional District, an eight-county region stretching from Lake Ontario to the Southern Tier that supported Donald Trump, 55 percent to 39 percent, in November's presidential election.

Tenney was an early supporter of Trump, and has strengthened her ties to the president and his administration since they both took office in January.

Brindisi said he will emphasize his independence, and willingness to work with Republicans and take on members of his own party.

"That's the one thing I hear whether I'm in the grocery store or on the street," Brindisi said. "People want elected officials to work across the aisle for their best interests and not to be a rubber stamp, and right now that's what we have representing us in Congress."

Brindisi criticized Tenney for not holding a public town hall meeting during her first six months in office. He promised to hold a town hall meeting in each of the 22nd District's eight counties at least once a year.

"Job No. 1 of any elected officials is listening and taking the concerns of the people you represent back to Washington," Brindisi said. "Right now, people in this district feel like they are not being listened to."

Tenney, who has received a series of death threats since taking office, has decided to hold a series of open door meetings with small groups of constituents. Tenney said she is open to holding town hall meetings once security issues can be addressed.

The 22nd District covers all of Madison, Oneida, Cortland and Chenango counties and a portion of Oswego, Broome, Herkimer and Tioga counties.


Read the full piece here.

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