President Bill Clinton visits Utica to support Arcuri, heckler arrested at rally


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Former President Bill Clinton made a visit to Central New York Friday to campaign for incumbent Congressman Michael Arcuri who is in a close congressional race against Republican Richard Hanna.

Clinton made an appearance in-front of a crowd of thousands at the Stanley Center for the Arts on Genesee Street. Clinton's primary advice to rally-goers was to "stay with Mike Arcuri." The 42nd president touted Arcuri's accomplishments and wanted to remind people that Republicans are the one who got Americans into the mess.

Clinton also made an argument that the stimulus bill is working around the nation and here in the 24th Congressional District. Arcuri voted in favor of the stimulus bill. Hanna has said he would have voted against it and that the legislation has not worked. Many Republicans are vowing to repeal the bill.

Clinton said of Arcuri, "he's been good to the economy of Upstate New York and he's been good for the agriculture community, especially dairy farmers."

The evening did not go off perfectly, as a heckler from the audience stood up and interrupted Clinton's speech. The man was 26-year-old Brendan Dunn, of Clinton. He was quickly escorted out by the Utica Police Department and charged with disorderly conduct.

Clinton and Arcuri's appearance took place much later that originally planned. It was scheduled for 7:30, but did not get underway until about 9:30. Clinton came from a speech he gave at Colgate University. The Rochester-area band Nik and the Nice Guys filled much of the time on stage as supporters waited.

Many area officials were in attendance at Friday's rally including Utica Mayor David Reofaro, Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito and New York Mills Mayor Robert Maciol, who is running for the position of Oneida County Sheriff.

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