Succinctly, as in the proverbial elevator speech, what makes you the best for the office?
It is the honor of a lifetime to serve this community. In my time in Congress, I’ve worked with Democrats and Republicans to get things done. That means sending 5 COVID relief bills to President Trump’s desk, getting four pieces of my legislation signed into law by the President, and standing up to anyone to make sure our region has what it needs. I’ve taken on Spectrum cable, big drug companies, Washington politicians, and more to fight for the Mohawk Valley. And I’ve worked to increase mental health care resources for our Veterans. But we have more work to do. We need to work together to end the pandemic and get our economy moving again. That means building a coalition to get critical aid for our state, county, and local governments so we can keep our essential services, like police, firefighters, and educators, the resources they need and investing in broadband to make sure our economy is ready for the coming century.
I will continue to work with members of both parties on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Agriculture Committee, and House Armed Services Committee to deliver for our region.
What is your highest educational level, in what career have you worked most of your working life, and what previous public office have you held or public service have you performed, paid or as a volunteer?
I hold a law degree from Albany School of Law. Until my time in Congress, I was a practicing attorney here in the Mohawk Valley, but public service is my passion. I served on the school board in Utica and then served Herkimer and Oneida county in the state Assembly. Now more than ever, experience working together to improve our community is so important.
What are some things that set you apart from your opponent?
I’ve spent my time in Congress working with Democrats and Republicans to get things done for this community. My opponent spent her time in Washington looking out for special interests while cashing their campaign checks. Whether it was Spectrum cable, prescription drug companies, or her Washington handlers, former Congresswoman Tenney was always working for them, not us. Just look at our records in Congress. I forged relationships with both parties to pass legislation and improve our region. For example, I was able to pass the SPOONSS Act, which requires the Department of Defense to buy American made flatware like the kind made in Sherrill. I was able to get this done and signed into law by President Trump, while my opponent failed. I moved this legislation through divided government because it strengthened American manufacturing, bolstered buy-American provisions, and created jobs in our district along the way. And on Spectrum, in my one term I held their feet to the fire while my opponent cashed their campaign checks. Our district needs a fighter in Washington, not someone who failed to get things done.
What can you do for the district that your opponent cannot?
Two things: Get things done and work together. The SPOONSS Act is a great example. My service to this community has been about effectiveness and building coalitions to get things done. During the pandemic, I worked with both parties and the Administration to get crucial aid to Upstate businesses, families, and health care facilities. I’ve worked with President Trump, with members of this community, and with people from both parties to find common ground. And as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I’ve delivered crucial resources for Rome Lab and protected good-paying DFAS jobs. My opponent is a divider, and my record shows that I am a uniter.
How do you explain your vote to impeach President Trump to undecided voters or those who might tend to support President Trump?
President Trump is my President too. We’ve worked together on key issues like the SPOONSS Act, increasing mental health care for Veterans, a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and now we’ve worked together to fight back against the pandemic. During impeachment, I put partisan politics aside and looked at my constitutional duty to our country. As a member of Congress, it is my duty to work with the President and serve as a check on Executive power. But my record of working with the President is long, and I am proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. Serving this community is beyond one issue and beyond one President, it is about working hard and working together to get things done. And that is what I will always strive to accomplish. My record is more than just one vote, and I hope voters will look to my record of working with both parties and the President to get things done.