Article originally written by Michael “Vass” Vasquez at Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com
George Phillips held a press conference in-between his teaching schedule on January 4, 2016, to discuss his quiet entry into the NY 22nd congressional race. He is challenging frontrunner Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney in that race on the Republican ticket. In November 2015 Assemblywoman Tenney became the only candidate at that time, prior to the announcement of retirement by Rep. Richard Hanna.
In Recreational Park, Binghamton NY, Mr. Phillips spoke to the press in regard to his fundraising efforts and the selective release of his intent to run. Mr. Phillips disclosed that he has raised $100,000 thus far and has filed with the Federal Election Commission. Assemblywoman Tenney and Democrat David Gordon, who is thus far the only Democrat in the race, have not released financial data yet though the financial quarter just ended December 31, 2015.
Mr. Phillips deferred answering several questions from the assembled news media. This includes several questions raised in our exclusive coverage in December. Mr. Phillips did clarify that he has not made any comment on the political issues that have faced the nation over the past 6 years due to restrictions from his employer, a catholic school. He added that though he will continue to teach history classes throughout his campaign, the restriction no longer applies. Even so, Mr. Phillips declined to answer any policy positions, and would not comment on campaigns of either the frontrunner Assemblywoman Tenney nor Mr. Gordon.
Mr. Phillips also clarified that he was unaware of how the website he referenced in his selective email request for donations was created and the content of that website. He stated that the Canadian based website, which we noted in our exclusive coverage, was purchased and created by a unnamed supporter. Though the website has a direct declaration of his run with name on it, Mr. Phillips denied knowledge of the content of the website.
When asked why the website does not present any policy positions, and when those positions would be made available to the public, Mr. Phillips stated,
“I talk in general about it [on the website], about having a Jack Kemp style enterprise, policy for Upstate NY. And also about peace through strength. We need that more than ever. We have plenty of time to lay out policy proposals, going forward we certainly will.”
When asked if the positions that Mr. Phillips held in 2010, several of which were voted against by incumbent Rep. Richard Hanna, are still positions held at this time, Mr. Phillips replied,
“I have permission… I have clearance from my school [his employer] to run but I haven’t… I’m under the jurisdiction not to be involved in a campaign. I’m not going to comment on any of the other candidates.”
Mr. Phillips promised that in his delayed official announcement to the public on his run for Congress, and at various points thereafter, he would disclose his policy positions. He further stated that he would be reaching out to the northern portions of the NY-22 that previously were not part of the district when he ran for office in 2010.
David Gordon, a former Oneida County Legislator in 2011 that has lost 2 separate attempts to be elected again since he held office, has also not presented his policy positions. No website exists for his campaign at this time. Mr. Gordon formed an exploratory committee in December 2015 prior to jumping into the race.
Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is currently the only candidate at this time who has a website and has presented her policy issues to the public. As stated on ClaudiaforCongress.com, she focused on the public over corruption in Government; economic policy that includes a reduction in the size of government and amount of regulations besides reducing Government spending. Additionally the Tenney campaign website presents her opposing Obamacare; reducing taxes for the public and corporations; support of the 2nd Amendment and national security; among other issues.
As Mr. Phillips mentioned, the race for the NY-22 has just entered 2016. Several additional potential candidates are expected to either announce publicly they are running, or declare they are out of the race within the next couple of weeks. We summarized several of the potential candidates with the biggest rumors of a run previously.
But if recent unofficial polls are correct all potential candidates opposing the frontrunner Tenney have a long road before them. In a WUTQ poll in December 2015, Claudia Tenney held a 51.3% lead over all other candidates rumored at the time. Currently on Twitter (at the time of this article) a poll by Fox 40 News asked “Do you think George Phillips is the best possible #Republican candidate for the 22nd Congressional District race?” The response thus far shows 5% in favor, 21% with no opinion, and 74% opposed to Mr. Phillips.