OLEAN, NY — Tracy Mitrano, the Democratic congressional candidate in District 23, will hold a Town Hall meeting in Franchot Park on Saturday from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Mitrano said she plans to focus on economic development during the event.
She is running against Republican incumbent Tom Reed in the District 23, which includes the Greater Olean area.
Economic development was a theme of her weekly media call on Thursday, which she made from Chautauqua County.
She noted she has not been there in months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s really been terrific to be back and to meet people, talk with people and be reminded of the warmth and the welcome that I always feel when I come out here,” Mitrano said.
She said she has learned the issues facing the area have not changed much.
“People are very concerned overall about the lack of economic development and that was true even before COVID,” Mitrano said.
To get businesses to invest in the district, health, education, proper infrastructure, access to Internet and preservation of natural resources need to improve, Mitrano said.
During the media call, Mitrano also discussed the discomfort surrounding statements made by President Donald Trump.
Mitrano said people she’s spoken to while campaigning are put off about Trump’s “failure to deal with the pandemic in a way that is effective and efficient” as well as his statements about veterans.
“I actually have had some people that I’ve met in the last couple days — one was in a coffee shop — who said, ‘I wouldn’t be here except for the fact that this president has crossed a line. ... ‘I supported him, I voted for him, but he’s crossed a line,' " Mitrano said.
Not all the people who are in discomfort about the president’s statements are Democrats, she added.
“There are now people who voted for Trump and have voted for Reed, but they are beginning to question deeply, ‘What are these people, what is the president, what is this congressman really doing for me?’ ” Mitrano said.
People she has spoken to also are concerned about the inability of the U.S. government to properly address the disproportionate violence towards communities of color, she noted.
“No one wants violence. No one wants the vandalism. But people do want something going forward where accountability matters,” Mitrano stated. “They’re looking for a president to show the kind of leadership that is necessary in moments like this and a congressman who is willing to vote for legislation that would be effective in beginning to address it.”
Mitrano said she supports both the police and Black Lives Matter.
Mitrano discussed Tom Reed’s campaign tactics, saying neglects talking about issues and campaigns by attacking her character.
“That is exactly the wrong approach,” Mitrano said.
Additionally, she referred to Reed an opportunist who wants to stay on Trump’s good side and called on Reed to resign from his position as honorary chair of Trump’s campaign.
Mitrano also discussed Trump's intentions to replace recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“At the very least, it is hypocritical in light of the nine months that Senator McConnell stonewalled a nomination from President Obama when we were in a similar situation,” Mitrano said.
Mitrano argued people have reason to be concerned about the U.S. because the administration refuses to follow political norms and stirs up doubt, fear and confusion.
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