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NY-21 candidates attend packed Hague event

Republican candidates for Congress Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik listen as Green Party Candidate Matt Funiciello speaks at the Hague Candidates Night June 11.

Republican candidates for Congress Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik listen as Green Party Candidate Matt Funiciello speaks at the Hague Candidates Night June 11. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— It was apparent early which candidate had nothing to lose.

Almost 100 people were in attendance at the Hague Meet the Candidates June 11, with Republican candidates and June 24 primary rivals Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny joined by Green Party Candidate Matt Funiciello, who stated early he was going to keep things light.

“I’m just here to have some fun and get my ideas out to the people,” Funiciello said in his opening statement. “For me, this isn’t about politics because the problem is it’s always about politics. We are turning away from self governance and we want to convince ourselves that there is a two-party system which is very unimaginative and also untrue.”

Doheny and Stefanik also had a chance to make a first impression on the crowd.

“I want to make the North Country a better place, it’s very simple,” Doheny said. “I have gone door-to-door during this campaign and what I have heard is people have become depressed and have sort-of given up on Washington.”

“I believe I have seen first-hand how Washington is broken,” Stefanik said. “Working with my parents in a small business, we felt first hand the economic challenges in this part of New York State. We need a new generation of common sense politicians.”

Following the opening statements, candidates were questioned on several different topics. Here are their responses to some of those inquiries:

• What committee assignments would you seek?:

Matt Doheny said he would like to be on committees that dealt with small business, financial services, armed services and veterans, citing Fort Drum as, “the largest employer in the district.”

Matt Funiciello joked, “I can tell you all kinds of committees I would like to be on, but being a Green Party member they would probably lock my door and keep me out of the big rooms.” He went on to say that he would most like to serve on agricultural committees.

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