Chautauqua County Officials Weigh In On Congressional District Race
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CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, N.Y. - Democrat Nate Shinagawa was a step closer Wednesday to representing the newly formed 23rd Congressional District that now includes Chautauqua County and the rest of the Southern Tier.
The Tompkins County candidate beat out challengers Leslie Danks Burke and Melissa Dobson in Tuesday night's Democratic primary for the right to take on Republican incumbent Tom Reed of Steuben County this fall.
"Never take anything for granted, but Tom is a very popular man, I think he's going to do well in Chautauqua County, I think he's going to do well in the district, I think he'll do well in Chautauqua County," said Allan Hendrickson, County Republican Committee Chairman.
"Voters across the Southern Tier, in the new 23rd District by a large number, saw what I saw in Nate Shinagawa. He is a very aggressive, smart, talented, grounded individual that I think has his priorities straight," said Sam Teresi, (D) Jamestown Mayor.
While Shinagawa had the endorsement of the Chautauqua county democratic committee, its party chairman, Keith Ahlstrom, threw his support behind Danks Burke.
"I don't think that either one of the endorsements had any effect on the election... but at this point, Nate Shinagawa is the candidate, he will get the full support of not only myself, but all of the Democratic party people in Chautauqua County," said Ahlstrom.
Both parties do agree however the important issues in the race include health care, the economy and a strong middle class.
"I think that Nate Shinagawa needs to continue to do exactly what he's done in this primary... and he needs to continue to get the message out that he's fighting for the average, every day resident and small business in the Southern Tier, not playing national partisan party politics," added Teresi.
"I think he needs to keep doing, what he's been doing... definitely jobs and the economy are the main issues with him," added Hendrickson.
Both candidates are expected to campaign heavily in the county leading up to November's election.