Comptroller says Orleans County could have national impact in November election

Photos by Tom Rivers: State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli visited Orleans County Democratic Party leaders on Friday at Hoag Library in Albion. DiNapoli is seeking a third four-year term as comptroller on Nov. 6.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 September 2018 at 11:03 am

27th Congressional District, a Republican stronghold, could flip to Democratic candidate, DiNapoli says

Tom DiNapoli

ALBION – It’s not easy being a Democrat in Orleans County, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli told party leaders on Friday afternoon.

Republicans in Orleans County outnumber Democrats 2-to-1 and the Republicans fill nearly all of the elected positions.

That can be discouraging for a Democrat who wants to run for elected office, DiNapoli said.

He told the Democrats he is inspired by their push to serve their community, despite the odds against them.

This election the Democrats are energized, he said. There was a big turnout statewide during the primary on Sept. 13. In Orleans County, the turnout doubled what it was four years earlier for the statewide primaries.

“As Democrats don’tbe afraid of who we are,” DiNapoli said during an hour visit at Hoag Library. “It’s important for people to see and hear who we are.”

The comptroller is seeking a third four-year term on Nov. 6. Jonathan Trichter, an investment banker, is running on the Republican line against DiNapoli.

The comptroller said the local Democrats can play a big role on Nov. 6. Generally there isn’t too much drama with state and national races for Orleans County Democrats. Democrats tend to win handily for statewide positions. The state Legislature and Congressional races in Orleans County, however, tend to be runaway victories for the Republicans, who enjoy a big enrollment advantage in rural areas.

Tom DiNapoli greets Joyce Riley, who is running for the Gaines Town Board in November.

DiNapoli said a “blue wave” may ripple through Orleans County with the 27th Congressional District, the most Republican-leaning district in the state. The district was thought to be solidly Republican, but incumbent Chris Collins has been indicted on insider trading charges. Nate McMurray, the Democrat, is mounting an aggressive challenge and Collins is staying on the ballot.

“The election in 2018 is a moment in time and an opportunity to change the direction of the country,” DiNapoli told local Democratic Party leaders. “Orleans County could be part of the blue wave. Every vote for Nate will make a difference and will resonant nationally.”

He blamed the Trump Administration and Republican Congress for pushing through tax cuts that favor the wealthy and for changes in healthcare that will drive up New York’s state costs while reducing coverage for residents.

“I think there is some buyer’s remorse,” he said about the president. “There is a scandal a day that drives everybody crazy.”

Tom DiNapoli met with Orleans County Democratic Party leaders for about an hour on Friday. He said their active participation is critical and much appreciated in a rural county where they are vastly outnumbered and outspent by the Republican Party.

If the House of Representatives switches to a Democratic majority, DiNapoli said Trump would get a much-needed check on his power.

There also is a chance the Senate could also tip to the Democrats and Chuck Schumer, one of New York’s senators, could become majority leader, which DiNapoli said would be good for local residents.

“He knows where Orleans County is,” he said.

The midterm elections are generating lots of interest, and DiNapoli said Orleans County could be in the limelight with the 27th Congressional District.

“I really think this will be a good year for Democrats,” he said. “In Orleans County, with that Congressional race, you could be part of taking back the House of Representatives. Democrats would bring balance back to Washington.”

DiNapoli also said in his decade as comptroller the pension fund has nearly doubled while his office since 2011 has investigated 180 people who were arrested for stealing from taxpayers.

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