LAKE PLACID — Matt Funiciello, the Green Party’s candidate for Congress, has reached a state of balance.
“Campaigning is just one of the many things I’m doing,” he said. “I have to take time to enjoy life, something I’ve only learned in the past two years.”
Funiciello, a baker who has never held elective office, said his first campaign stop outside of Glens Falls would be the first, in what he hoped would be, a series of open-ended discussions with voters.
“I want to start getting out and talk to people about the issues and, specifically, find out what they think of what I’m saying.”
His appearance at the Green Goddess Cafe was one part stump speech, the other, a flicker of a bygone era in politics, the Mr. Smith-type citizen activist rallying the public with fiery oratory.
Funiciello gathered about two-dozen voters around and told his story.
The candidate spent his formative years on a small subsistence farm in Wilton, Saratoga County, a childhood steeped in flinty northeastern traditions. He hunted for most of his life and played hockey — badly, he added — before bouncing back and forth from Ottawa for summer holidays after his parents split.
Funiciello returned to the States in 1988 and flirted with a journalism degree before opening Rock Hill Bakehouse in South Glens Falls in 1992. The Rock Hill Cafe followed in 2002, a business that regularly sees the 47-year-old clocking 50-hour weeks.
The candidate told voters his campaign is structured around three main platforms.
The first is the reduction of corporate welfare, a federal redistribution policy of capital that he said does nothing to benefit the working class.
“Make the 1 percent pay their fair share,” he said. “Why are loans not being made available to young people for tractors, to develop microeconomies?”