Arcuri announces run for third Congressional term

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UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Congressman Michael Arcuri is hoping that good things will happen to those who wait.

Richard Hanna announced his intentions to run for the 24th Congressional District seat four months ago. Now, we officially know who he is running against.

Congressman Arcuri announced at 4 p.m. on Monday that he will, indeed, be running for a third term. He made the announcement on the back patio of Utica's Union Station surrounded by friends, family, and supporters.

Arcuri said he likes his job and hopes he won't be looking for a new one anytime soon.

"I am here today to ask you join me as I announce my candidacy to continue as your representative in Congress. To continue our fight to make the home of our parents fit to be the home of our children," Arcuri said. "Since I was first elected to Congress in 2006 my office has worked tirelessly to build on the assets we have, and not lament on what we don't. We didn't create this economic environment but I have taken concrete steps to do something about it."

The Congressman delivered a 20-minute speech outlining his record of accomplishments highlighted by success stories and legislative victories that have significantly helped manufacturers, farmers, educators, and communities across the 24th Congressional district.

In the speech, Arcuri also discussed key issues affecting the region, such as job creation in areas such as high tech, green energy, and manufacturing. He also talked about the economy, foreign trade issues, natural gas drilling, education, and key victories such as stopping NYRI.

On jobs and the economy, Arcuri said, "Government doesn't create jobs - it has to create an environment that enables business to thrive and create the jobs. And business works best when labor, businesses large and small and consumers are all on a level playing field. And my role as your Representative is to ensure that that happens to keep the playing field level. That is the recipe for success-that is the engine for growth and the necessity for job creation."

"We are finding ways to strengthen our local economies by building on the foundations of what we have. In the first half of this year alone we have seen new initiatives and legislation that will add jobs and strengthen our communities. Real money flowing into our region to help re-build our infrastructure and develop businesses and jobs in new economic sectors like high tech, green energy and cybersecurity."
"Over $150 million will be used to begin high speed rail construction which I call the Erie Canal of our generation. This will open the corridors from as far away as Niagara Falls in the west, through the heart of our district to New York City."

Regarding agriculture and farming the Congressman added, "We must continue to support our farmers. I have fought to keep dairy pricing stable in the face of the recession and declining exports overseas."

"I authored a bill to shift milk hauling costs away from dairy farmers and onto processors where it belongs which will mean huge, much needed savings to dairy farmers."

He also talked about high tech and cybersecurity initiatives, "I helped lead the Intelligence Authorization Act which strengthens our cyber security capabilities, which naturally creates jobs locally at Rome Lab, but also will create scholarships and educational programs here in the district at schools like Utica College and SUNY IT, that will lead to new jobs in public and private cyber sectors."

However, the 24th Congressional District race is gaining national attention. The Congressional Quarterly is calling the race a toss-up, and recently, The Washington Post named it one of the top 30 U.S. House races likely to switch parties.

Richard Hanna was in Cortland County on Monday making campaign stops, but his campaign said they welcomed Arcuri's announcement.

“Mr. Arcuri couldn’t make up his mind on the health care bill, voting for it and then against it. He couldn’t decide on cap-and-trade, voting for it in committee and then against it on the floor. He couldn’t even make up his mind on whether he was running for re-election," said Hanna Campaign Spokesperson Renee Gamela. "So, we are pleased Mr. Arcuri has finally committed to the race because we welcome the distinct contrast: Richard Hanna is a self-made small businessman, an outsider who has created hundreds of jobs in Upstate New York and we've seen his dedication to his community. Mike Arcuri is a career politician, a political opportunist whose votes show support of job-killing policies like higher taxes, more spending and more debt for us and our children.”

As for Congressman Arcuri saying he likes his job, the Hanna Campaign said the following:

"In his announcement, Mr. Arcuri said he was concerned about keeping his job. Richard Hanna asked, 'What about the rest of us? Based on his performance, Mr. Arcuri deserves to lose his job, but you don’t deserve to lose yours.'"

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