Originally written at Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com by Michael “Vass” Vasquez on March 21, 2016
In Vestal, NY, on March 21, 2016, concerned citizen gathered to learn first-hand the differences between almost all of the candidates running for the New York 22nd Congressional seat. 5 out of the 7 candidates announced in the race gathered at the Vestal Public Library as part of the non-partisan Americans for Restoring the Constitution (AFRTC) candidate night event, and answered the questions of the assembled voters.
Normally the AFRTC holds an annual candidate night event in the fall, after all primaries are over and prior to the election. There have been annual candidate nights held since 2010, which have featured Democrats and Republicans alike for every elected office from local seats up to and including the Congress (Senate and House of Representatives). But with the host of candidates in both the Republican and Democrat races for the NY-22 open seat, the AFRTC decided to hold an additional event to help voters understand whom they might support throughout the election process.
Invitations were sent to each of the Republican, Democrat and even the Libertarian candidates. Only Republican Steve Wells of Madison County, and local Democrat Legislator Kim Myers of Broome County, declined to attend this event. Of the candidates that did attend, several traveled from as far as Oneida County, with Endwell resident George Phillips arriving late and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney travelling from the floor of the Assembly in Albany where votes on the NY State budget had just finished for the day.
Each of the candidates were greeted by some 30 constituents who listened intently to the introduction and reasons to run presented. At several points candidates received applause regardless of party affiliation but in regard to issues that hit a nerve with those gathered. The small crowd also submitted questions for each of the candidates on substantive issues, without regard for party affiliation, that exceeded the time available to all be answered.
For those voters and constituents that were unable to attend the event, we present exclusive video of the event. While 2 television news stations did eventually arrive at the event after it started, they each left after approximately 30 minutes of footage out of the 2 1/1 hours the candidates spent with the public. Thus, the following videos are the only news media footage of the verbatim statements of each candidate, the questions asked and answered, for the entire night.
The videos are arranged in the same order as each candidate introduced themselves at the event – David Pasick, Aaron Price, David Gordon, George Phillips, and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. Each video includes the introduction, questions and answers, and final statement made by each candidate individually. While all those that attended were asked for an interview after the event, Libertarian David Pasick and Republican George Phillips declined (who was the very first person to leave the event).
** Note: Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com makes no endorsement of any candidate for any elected office. All video is presented as informational, for the benefit of voters to be able to make an informed decision for themselves.
In addition, ALL candidates announced in the NY-22 race have been asked for an interview. To date Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, David Gordon, David Pasick, and Aaron Price had accepted and have been previously interviewed. Neither Legislator Kim Myers nor Steve Wells have responded to our requests as of this time. George Phillips agreed to an interview on December 30, 2015, but has yet to schedule a time for that interview even after repeated requests. ***