Rep. Brandon Williams hosts open house at Utica office
UTICA — Rep. Brandon Williams R-22, Sennett, hosted an open house and ceremonial swearing-in on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at his new district office at 421 Broad St., Suite 7, in Utica.
New York Supreme Court Justice Julie Grow Denton gave Williams a ceremonial swearing- in, and local representatives like Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr., and Utica mayoral candidate Robert Cardillo attended.
Williams said after he was sworn in that he is here to help everyone in the 22nd Congressional District, no matter what they think about politics.
“I say this all the time on the Hill … I’m here to loot and pillage 434 other congressional districts for the benefit of Central New York and the Mohawk Valley,” Williams said. “I am here to represent you guys. If you have issues, bring them up here, we’re tracking every call, every email, every inquiry. And we’re going to do the best we can.”
In an interview with the Daily Sentinel, Williams spoke about his time in office so far, his priorities, the Stop Enabling Repeat Violence and Endangering our Communities (SERVE) Act and Rep. George Santos.
Williams said that the best part of his job is getting out and talking to people, so it’s a joy to open his district offices and get to know his constituents.
“People from both sides of the aisle have been in the office today, expressing their views and they just want to know that they’re going to be heard no matter what their politics are,” Williams said. And so, I like that part because I don’t mind listening and hearing people from different views of what their concerns are.”
He said he is humbled and honored to serve as the 22nd district’s congressman, and that he has never worked in politics before, so this is an entirely new experience.
Williams is an entrepreneur and founded a software company that is based in California, and owns a truffle farm in Sennett with his wife. He served as a nuclear submarine officer in the Navy.
Williams said that one of his concerns is the country’s energy policy. Throughout the past year, Americans struggled with high gas prices, soaring heating bills and rising inflation.
“The high cost of energy is hurting our working Americans and I think it’s something we can address with a common sense energy policy,” he said. “I also think it’s something that more and more Democrats are acknowledging and are ready to come to the table and find ways that we can lower our gas costs, the cost to heat our homes and so I’m optimistic we’re going to be able to do that in this Congress, and reach across the aisle.”
Williams said he also wants to address government spending.
On Friday, Jan. 13, Williams joined other house Republicans, including Reps. Claudia Tenney, R-24, Canandaigua, and Elise Stefanik R-21, Schuylerville, in introducing the SERVE Act, which will provide incentives to states like New York to implement laws that allow judges to consider dangerousness when determining bail or pretrial release.
Currently, New York law does not allow perceived dangerousness to be considered, because it could allow for racial bias to impact the ruling.
“Even if the bail reform laws are well-intentioned, they’re having extremely harmful effects on our communities,” Williams said. “I think most citizens, particularly those in the Mohawk Valley, are deeply concerned about that. And so, what tools do we have at the federal level? I think Claudia Tenney has tried to address it with the SERVE bill.”
Williams is one of six New York Republicans who are calling for Rep. George Santos to resign after Santos lied about his resume and qualifications. On Jan. 17, Santos received two committee assignments upon the recommendation of the House GOP steering committee.
Williams said that Santos cannot just be removed from office; there must be an investigation within the House Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission to allow Santos to receive due process.
“Personally, I think it’s a distraction for the New York delegation. New York delivered the majority to the House Republicans, and we are really well positioned in committees across the state to deliver results for New York State as well as for our districts, our communities, but all we’re talking about is George Santos,” Williams said. “We really want to get on with getting the work for the people done, so I think Representative Santos should resign and make room for us to get on with it, to get to work.”
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