Voters in the newly formed 23rd Congressional District have just over a week to decide who they want to represent them in Washington. As our Bill Mich tells us, Congressman Tom Reed and his challenger Nate Shinagawa have been campaigning across the region with both keyed in on one crucial issue: Jobs.
SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -- Nate Shinagawa is the challenger for the 23rd Congressional Seat and he believes it is his seven years as a Tompkins County legislator as well as hospital administrator that will serve him well in Congress. While Congressman Tom Reed says it is his time already spent in Washington, along with his connection here at home, including serving as Mayor of Corning and a local small business owner, that makes him the right choice. Both men are pushing for jobs.
"We've got to fight for jobs that are long term, that are quality jobs and employ local folks. And that's why I think we have to build upon what we already do well here and that's manufacturing," said Shinagawa.
"I want to be known as the champion of the private sector, small business owners and I think our record demonstrates that we are committed to making and building things here in America again," said Reed.
And not just bringing new jobs but keeping them from leaving like what is happening at the Sikorsky Military Completion Center. Both see broad steps that can make an impact on a local level.
"You stand for regulatory reform like we do where you're talking about common sense reasonable regulations where a cost benefit approach is taken as to how they're promulgated and how they're created. Comprehensive tax reform has to be done," said Reed.
"What we need to do is actually look at these trade agreements and say that if they're not benefiting American workers, then we shouldn't have them. And I think that's something that's logical, especially in an area like the Southern Tier that relies on its manufacturing," said Shinagawa.
Energy, specifically fracking, is another way some, like Tom Reed, believe can boost the economy with an influx of jobs, while Shinagawa stands firmly opposed to the industry and its aftermath.
"These are jobs not only associated with getting the natural gas out of the ground, but more importantly, it provides a piece of that comprehensive energy policy of all of the above that provides a long term stable certain supply of energy for our power production facilities," said Reed.
"They are for companies that do drilling, that work on fluids, they do water truck hauling, they do sand hauling. These are all short term jobs. They'll go away in five years," said Shinagawa.
The two men have their own plan for the 23rd Congressional District. Now it’s up to voters to decide which gets taken to Washington.