Alice Kryzan and Jon Powers stopped by the headquarters of the Genesee County Democrats this afternoon on their tour through the 26th district. The two Democrats are ramping up support for Kryzan in her bid to win the congressional seat that will be vacated by retiring incumbent Tom Reynolds. She will face Republican Chris Lee in the general election.
Although they were opponents in the primary, Powers has since come out in full support of Kryzan. Today, he proclaimed that endorsement, citing the message that has been repeated (almost ad nauseum) by Democrats, and often even by Republicans, during this campaign year: change. Voters "have a clear choice," he said, to accept "the same failed policies of the last eight years," or to vote for change. Needless to say, Powers held up Kryzan as a candidate of such change.
"I urge the voters of Western New York to vote for Alice," he said.
Genesee County Democratic Committee Chair Lorie Longhany introduced the two at a brief press conference. She spoke of Powers as "very, very dear to me" and said that his "grassroots campaign led a movement that left a mark in this community."
"His coming out ... sends a strong message across the rural community," she said.
For her part, Kryzan repeated the invocation of change, touting her devotion to "green energy" as part of that message. She called Powers "a worthy adversary" whom she is now thankful to have on her side and vowed to "fight for the 26th district" that has "not been well represented in a long time"—a jab, perhaps, at the outgoing Republican, Reynolds. She also said she wanted to "fulfill the role" of job creator.
"If you send me to Congress, I will get up every morning and ask myself with every item on my agenda: Will this benefit the 26th district? If the answer is no, I will take that item off the agenda."
We caught up with Kryzan after the press conference to ask a couple of questions. (Questions in bold. Responses in italics).
In the Democratic primary, a lot was made about the often divisive negative campaigning and your refusal to get involved in the mudslinging. We know that you can't do anything about the current negative ads being run by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee attacking your opponent Chris Lee. So what are you doing to ensure that voters know these commercials don't reflect your style?
There are two answers to that. One, when asked about it, I tell everyone that those ads are not put out by my campaign. Second, I'm trying to run a campaign with positive ads about the issues. I'm getting out and talking about the issues. ... A representative in Congress must be responsible to the voters.
The "Wall Street bailout" remains wildly unpopular with voters. Nor does much seem to be coming of the effort in the way of relief for the average American. In fact, JPMorgan Chase even admitted that it would not loosen credit and instead plans to use its recently acquired $25 billion of taxpayer money for "acquisitions." Initially, you said that you support the bailout. Do you still?
I supported the bailout, but I said that it's not a perfect bill. Its one saving grace is that Congress only released a portion of the money. A new administration can revisit the effort and make sure that taxpayer money is used to serve the interests of taxpayers, not Wall Street bankers. If we get a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress in there, we will get this right.