Fratto, in Orleans appearance, says he’d push to deport all ‘illegals’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 June 2024 at 8:54 am

Congressional candidate challenges Tenney again in NY-24

Photos by Tom Rivers: Mario Fratto speaks at the American Legion Post in Medina to about 20 people in a speech that was also live on Facebook.

MEDINA – Mario Fratto, a staunchly conservative candidate for Congress, is ready to pull off an upset on Tuesday. He believes he has the support from voters in a  sprawling Congressional District that includes all or parts of 14 counties, going from Niagara Falls to Watertown, a nearly 250-mile drive.

The district’s boundaries have been changed. Orleans County was split in half with Joe Morelle, a Democrat from Rochester, having the northern half of Orleans and Tenney the bottom half. But the new district lines, which take effect on Jan. 1, put all of Orleans in the 24th Congressional District.

Tenney has the backing of the Republican Party leaders in the district, and most of the Conservative Party chairmen. However, the Conservative Party in Orleans County broke from the ranks and endorsed Fratto. Paul Lauricella, the party’s chairman in Orleans, said Tenney is a “RINO,” a Republican In Name Only who often sides with Democrats on spending bills and other legislation.

Fratto spent two hours in Medina on Saturday and rallied against Tenney, claiming she isn’t conservative and cited her support for warrantless surveillance of Americans, Red Flag Gun Laws, taxpayer-funded sex changes in the military and Planned Parenthood funding.

Tenney has said she is among the most conservative members of Congress and Fratto is cherry-picking legislation among her thousands of votes.

Mario Fratto, right, chats with Paul Lauricella, center, and Steve Colon after Fratto spoke at the American Legion in medina on Saturday. Fratto spent two hours at the event, speaking for about hour and a half and then meeting with about 20 people who attended the campaign stop. He also held events in Attica and Avon on Saturday.

Fratto, 39, helps run Geneva Granite which produces and installs granite curbing. He has his law degree and serves as chief financial officer for the family business. His father was a boxer, and Fratto said he sees Tuesday’s primary against Tenney as Rocky II.

In their first battle two years, Fratto made the contest surprisingly close. He compared the contest to the first Rocky movie when a native son, Rocky Balboa, nearly defeats the champion, Apollo Creed.

But in the second movie, Rocky knocks out Apollo. That is what Fratto predicts in the primary against Tenney.

During his speech for about an hour and half on Saturday, Fratto said he strongly backs Donald Trump in a return as president, and Fratto said he supports an “America First” agenda. (Trump has endorsed Tenney in the race.)

Fratto wants a tight border and called for deporting all “illegal” immigrants, which he said is about 20 million unauthorized people in the country. He said to start with people with criminal records but eventually deport all who entered illegally and don’t have legal standing to be in the country.

He also said he support the idea of making undocumented immigrants “self deport,” by denying them the ability to get jobs, housing and benefits. If the conditions are difficult, they will go back to their home countries, Fratto said.

He also opposes aid to Ukraine, saying those funds should be spent in the United States. (Tenney on April 20 voted against $60.8 billion for Ukraine. She opposes Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, but wants a long-term plan from Ukraine on how the money will be used, as well as an exit strategy from the war.)

Fratto said New York State is far from the Empire State. Progressive policies from the state government have driven out many residents and businesses, leaving a trail of empty warehouses, especially in upstate New York, Fratto said.

The Republican Party has failed the state, allowing Democrats to building supermajorities in the State Assembly and State Senate, with little chance to push back some of the extreme policies from the state government, Fratto said.

If he is victorious, Fratto believes it could usher in a new wave of conservative politicians to counteract legislation in Albany and Washington.

“If we change the policies in our country, it will get better everywhere,” he said. “Don’t sit back and watch the entire country go to Hell.”

The 24th Congressional District has been redrawn and now goes further west to Niagara Falls. All of Orleans County will be in one district rather than having the county cut in about half. Map from the NYS Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment.