Three Republicans who are looking to take on U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are starting to visit north country political leaders in hopes of gaining support from the Republican and Conservative parties’ committees.
Joseph Carvin, the town of Rye supervisor, was in Watertown on Wednesday morning and then went on to St. Lawrence County and Clinton County later in the day. Wendy E. Long, an attorney, and George Maragos, the Nassau County comptroller, are slated to make north country trips next week.
A hedge fund manager, Mr. Carvin outlined a fiscally conservative plan when asked about how he would advocate for Watertown as a federal representative.
“I’m an unconventional politician,” he said. “The federal government should not be giving tax credits to invest in Watertown. That’s the old pork-barrel way of running. That’s why our federal deficit is so horrific. The way I can help Watertown is to help us get back to our core principles.”
Mr. Carvin faces an uphill political battle among some quarters of the Republican Party. James T. Ellis, the Franklin County GOP chairman, wrote his fellow upstate chairs to denounce Mr. Carvin’s candidacy based in part on his abortion position. Mr. Carvin supports abortion rights in the first 24 weeks and also supports parental consent for abortions.
“My campaign is focused on changing the fiscal crisis,” Mr. Carvin said during a news conference at the Washington Street office of Donald G.M. Coon III, the Jefferson County Republican Party Committee chairman.
“I would argue that Romney-Carvin is probably better than Santorum-Long. You have to look at it in terms of electability,” Mr. Carvin said. “It’s very tough to win an election in New York state where you take that view” against abortion in the first 24 weeks, though he added he respects and understands it.
The Republican Party will designate a Senate candidate at its March 16 convention in Rochester. If more than one candidate meets the threshold of support from committee members, a primary will be held June 26.
Mr. Carvin, who announced his candidacy a week ago, focused during his Watertown trip on his plans to cut taxes and spending. He said he’s done the same as Rye town supervisor.
On local issues, Mr. Carvin said he would fight for upstate military interests as the federal government considers where to shed some of its forces.
“In New York state, the upstate economy has been harder-hit,” he said.