LAKE PLACID — The ding-ding-ding of the seat belt chime never flicked off because Matt Doheny, a Republican candidate for Congress, was never in the car long enough to buckle back up.
The routine went like this:
Armed with a list of registered Republican voters, a GPS unit and a full tank of gas, Doheny’s wheelman would zero in on a name and address. The car would roll to a stop and the candidate would leap out.
It was 84 degrees on Monday, June 2, the hottest day of the year so far, and the black flies were out.
But Doheny, a 43-year-old investment banker from Watertown, was in his prime.
“This how it’s done,” he said. “Now let’s go knock on some doors.”
The car rolled to a stop. Doheny jumped out and a reporter followed.
“I’m Matt Doheny and I’m running for Congress,” he told the young woman who answered the door. “I’m right here on your doorstep if you have any questions.”
She smiled, took the campaign literature and apologized:
“I’m just the caretaker,” she shrugged.
“That’s fine,” said Doheny. “Have a great day.”
There are 170,000 registered Republicans spread throughout 194 towns and villages in New York’s 21st Congressional District and Doheny estimates that he was knocked on 1,000 doors so far in about 40 of them.
“In a district this size, sometimes we have to use this car,” he said, almost as an apology. “This is when campaigning in more walkable villages becomes more preferable.”
A bicyclist pedaled by.
“The creation of a bike trail was something that was discussed at the Adirondack Associations of Towns and Villages this morning,” said Doheny, referring to the meeting he attended earlier that morning of local officials from around the North Country. “It could be modeled after Yellowstone and would be a great way to get people here, a circuit from Saranac Lake to Star Lake, Long Lake, Old Forge and then back around again.”