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Woolf campaign jumps out seeking more cash

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The campaign finance reports for candidates in the 21st Congressional District are still warm, and the front-running Democratic candidate has already jumped out with a fundraising letter to the faithful.

Aaron G. Woolf, Elizabethtown, managed to raise $205,000 in about a month and a half, probably to the surprise of his Republican opponents, and is using that success to try to build more success.

A fundraising letter from Woolf campaign finance chairman Alex Turman pointed to national election sites that are predicting a tight race in the 21st district, a seat that will be held until year’s end by retiring Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh.

“Yesterday’s National Journal Hotline Wake-Up Call, one of the country’s leading campaign publications, made clear we can win this race,” the letter trumpeted. “‘His fundraising numbers show an aggressive candidate... With more than $400,000 to spend after a late start, Woolf represents a strong opportunity for Democrats to keep retiring Rep. Bill Owens’s seat.’— Jack Fitzpatrick”

“As one of only seven toss-up House races nationwide according to the Rothenberg Political Report, this will be a very close... and very expensive race,” the letter said. “But we have a unique opportunity now to build upon our first quarter success while the Republicans duke it out and drain their resources in a brutal primary battle. That’s why Aaron needs your support today.”

The letter, seeking online donations for the Woolf campaign, also berated Republican candidates Elise M. Stefanik and Matthew A. Doheny for refusing “to stand up against Paul Ryan’s plan to end the Medicare guarantee, raise taxes on middle class families, slash education, and threaten our region’s economic future.”

However, in a pair of posts on the All Politics is Local blog in the Glens Falls Post Star, both Mr. Doheny and Ms. Stefanik — who once worked for Rep. Ryan — stayed clear of endorsing the Ryan budget proposal.

Mr. Doheny cast it as a “one-house” plan that is one Republican’s vision for spending more than two years away. Ms. Stefanik didn’t reject the Ryan plan, but neither did she endorse it, hedging, for example, on the plan’s call for rebuilding Medicare for all those now under the age of 55 (she said she would need to “study it”).

And the entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare — are incredibly hot-button topics in the 21st, where 15.2 percent of the population is 65 or older and the median income of $25,019 is ranked 18th out of the 27 congressional districts in the state. Candidates will embrace radical change proposals for the two most important programs for senior citizens at their own peril.

— PLW

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