PLATTSBURGH — The campaign of congressional hopeful Matt Doheny got a boost from a visit by a high-profile leader, but not without drawing some harsh criticism.
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner made a stop on behalf of Doheny recently in Lake George to drum up support for his run in the 21st District.
Doheny, of Watertown, who also has the Conservative and Independence party lines, as well as Republican, is trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Bill Owens of Plattsburgh.
Doheny lost a close race to Owens in 2010 in which Douglas Hoffman got 6 percent of the vote as the Conservative Party candidate, even though he did not campaign after losing a Republican primary to Doheny.
“Matt should have won in 2010,” Boehner said during his visit. “There are about 10 races we should have won in 2010, but we didn’t ... and Matt was one of them.”
‘IT’S ABOUT THEM’
Boehner said he is eager to get Doheny to Washington, D.C., because he believes “he can really add value to our Republican majority.”
Boehner is traveling the country stumping for Republican congressional candidates.
“I am here tonight because I believe in Matt, and I believe we can win this district ... What we’ve tried to do over the last year and a half is to stand up for the American people, to listen to the American people to make sure they know it’s not about us; it’s about them,” Boehner said.
“Our job is to listen to the American people and follow their will.”
Owens’s camp said the speaker would be better off getting important legislation passed that would help the district rather than make campaign appearances.
Recently, Owens voted against Congress adjourning for five weeks, and he urged Boehner to put the pending Farm Bill up for a vote. Owens and a bi-partisan block of Congressional members also want action on legislation for more relief aid for damage caused last year during tropical storms Irene and Lee.
Boehner’s office responded by criticizing Owens for voting against drought-aid legislation.
Owens spokesman Sean Magers said the congressman voted against drought aid because it did nothing for New York farmers.
“The drought-aid legislation was completely unrelated to the Farm Bill, and many in the Republican Party also voted against it because House leadership has so far refused to bring the bi-partisan Farm Bill up for a vote,” Magers said.
“House leadership refused to address a bill that would help New Yorkers recover from Irene and Lee despite a request from a bi-partisan delegation of New York members of Congress, including six Republicans.”
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