By: Claire Kerr | WBNG News
The New York Congressional primaries are less than a month away. In the Southern Tier, candidates competing to represent the 22nd district are in full campaign mode.
The candidate elected in November will take over the 22nd District seat, which is currently held by Representative Richard Hanna.
One term was used across the board by candidates: “job creation.”
Republican candidate Steve Wells is focusing on agricultural growth, with a personal background in farming and business ownership.
He visited Whittaker Farms in Whitney Point Monday morning to speak with local farmers.
“We absolutely have to protect our family farms here because they’re manufacturing. They’re manufacturing milk right here at this farm we’re at today and they’re manufacturing crops all over the Southern Tier and upstate New York,” Wells said.
George Phillips (R), who is a history teacher, is running for Congress for a third time. He explained to Action News why he thinks the area needs a business boost.
“We need to lift up the current entrepreneurs and the job creators. That’s going to get this area going again so we can have jobs. We can have a place for our young people to stay after going to great schools here which I’m fortunate to be a part of,” said Phillips.
Republican and New York state assembly woman Claudia Tenney is also a small business owner. She feel tax reduction is critical for the Southern Tier
“We need to reduce taxes across the board, something that I’ve been fighting for in Albany. We need to reduce regulations, from federal to state, and all these regulations that make it difficult or impossible for a small business community to compete,” Tenney said.
On the Democratic side, Kim Myers (D) grew up working for a local family business and shared her views with Action News on community growth in her campaign.
“I do know how families today are struggling,” Myers said. “I remember that all too well. We need to create jobs that can sustain our families. They can raise their children here.”
Independent candidate Martin Babinec is an entrepreneur and startup company investor. Babinec thinks now is the time to fuel new industries in the area, after many have weakened over the years.
“The newer industries provide this opportunity to not only leverage this talent we have, because remember, we have a half million college students here,” Babinec noted. “Really smart people who increasingly do want to help create these opportunities in these newer industries.”
The 22nd Congressional District covers parts of Broome and Tioga counties, and all of Chenango and Cortland. Polls will be open on June 28th for the Congressional primaries.