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Aaron Woolf and Congressman Tonko Slam Stefanik During Conference Call

NY 21st District map

On Tuesday afternoon Democrat Aaron Woolf was joined by New York 20th district Democratic Representative Paul Tonko on a conference call to discuss the race for the 21st Congressional district.

Democrat Aaron Woolf is running against Republican Elise Stefanik and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello for New York’s 21st congressional district seat. Current representative, Democrat Bill Owens, is retiring from the position.
A mid-September Siena/WWNY poll showed Stefanik with a lead of 13 points while late September Harper poll has the Republican leading by 8 points.
Woolf used Tuesday’s conference call with reporters from across the sprawling district to discuss the status of the campaign and to vilify his Republican opponent just before their first debate.

Woolf admitted it took time to find his footing, but says voters now know his position on issues. Opposed to his Republican opponent, he says, whom he slammed for avoiding the region’s media.  “During the debate will my opponent say once and for all whether or not she support the Paul Ryan plan to voucherize Medicare?  Will she finally announce her student loan refinancing plan that she said she would release after the primary in June? And with one month until election day, will she explain why she is much more interested in speaking to the national media and giving national addresses than talking to local reporters?”

Woolf continued his criticism, claiming Stefanik is distancing herself from her own work as policy director for the 2012 national Republican platform, while at the same time bringing high-profile Republicans to the district to campaign for her.  “She spent her entire primary touting her experience in Washington as a reason she’s qualified for office. It was only when I began criticizing the platforms that she directed that she’d run from her own D.C. experience. Who Elise Stefanik’s friends are says a lot about her plans for the district. Paul Ryan came to the district and Stefanik has refused to say if she supports her mentor’s plan to end the Medicare guarantee. John Boehner came to the district and pegged Stefanik for the GOP address, despite her refusal to talk to the local press. So isn’t it clear by now that Stefanik’s first loyalty is to Washington and not to the North Country?”

Woolf was joined on the call by upstate New York Congressman Democrat Paul Tonko. The 20th district representative represented parts of the current 21st district prior to redistricting in 2010.  “I look at the Paul Ryan plan. I look at the Republican majority’s agenda in the House.  It is not hand and glove a fit for the North Country, or for the 20th Congressional district for that matter. I’m impressed with what Aaron Woolf has been speaking to and Aaron’s message is tailored  to the people and to the future of the North Country.”

Elise Stefanik’s Communication Director Lenny Alcivar shot back that Tonko won’t be able to help Woolf in the debate and offered a biting criticism of Woolf’s Democratic agenda.  “The views of an established politician who’s not running in this district are of little relevance. The second thing is that they would be wrong and frankly sad if Aaron Woolf were to object to Elise Stefanik using every tool available to her to put the North Country needs and to fight before the national audience for what’s right for the North Country. The difference in this election can’t be more clear. Elise Stefanik is the ideas candidate in this election.”

Democrat Aaron Woolf, Republican Elise Stefanik and Green candidate Matt Funiciello will participate in a debate tonight on Time-Warner Cable news beginning at 7 p.m. It will air in the Capital Region, Northern New York, and Central New York and will be available online.

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