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Doheny puts out first radio ad; Woolf touts Owens’s endorsement

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The war for the 21st Congressional District Republican nomination has now hit the airwaves.

Matthew A. Doheny, the Watertown Republican seeking the seat being vacated by Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, has released a radio ad in advance of the June 24 primary.

The ad touts Mr. Doheny’s “real-world experience”, his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, his membership in the National Rifle Association and his business experience. And it takes shots at chief party rival Elise M. Stefanik when it says “Matt Doheny is the only candidate who’s pledged not to raise taxes,” and “he’s not a DC insider.”

Mr. Doheny signed on to the Americans for Tax Freedom’s pledge not to raise taxes during his 2010 run against Mr. Owens and has renewed it since. Ms. Stefanik did a tour as an adviser in the Bush White House, and worked on the campaign of GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan in 2012.

Ms. Stefanik said Friday that while she had not heard the radio advertisement, the claim that she has not pledged to not raise taxes is false. She said she would call the Times back with details but has not yet done so.

The release accompanying the radio script quoted campaign spokesman David Catalfamo as saying “Matt Doheny, is a true son of the North Country and is the only candidate to take the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge not to raise taxes. His real world experience is exactly what we need to loosen the grip of DC insiders whose big government policies are stifling job creation and economic opportunity.”

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It did not take 21st CD Democratic candidate Aaron G. Woolf as long to make hay from his endorsement by Mr. Owens as it did for Mr. Owens to provide the endorsement.

The congressman endorsed Mr. Woolf at the start of a joint campaign swing Thursday. On Friday morning the Woolf campaign sent out fundraising letters announcing the endorsement and seeking campaign donations.

“I am proud to announce that I have received the endorsement of Congressman Bill Owens,” the letter from Mr. Woolf says. “I spent Thursday touring factories and small businesses with Congressman Owens. ... Congressman Owens’ endorsement is yet another sign of our momentum. We can win this race!

The letter solicits donations through the campaign website.

The Owens endorsement solidifies Mr. Woolf’s position, and comes on the heels of a serious legal challenge to Woolf challenger Stephen W. Burke, who will have to defend his petitions before the state Board of Elections, and perhaps before state Supreme Court, next week. Since Mr. Burke would be lopped off the ballot if only 62 signatures are successfully challenged, he faces an uphill battle to stay in the race.

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