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Orleans Democrats endorse challenger against Collins

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Diana Kastenbaum

Orleans County Democratic Party leaders voted to endorse Diana Kastenbaum, a Batavia woman who is running for Congress against incumbent Chris Collins.

The local Democratic Party Committee is impressed with Kastenbaum’s passion for the race and her experience as the CEO of Pinnacle Manufacturing Company Inc. in Batavia.

“She is a small businesswoman who has come up from the ranks,” said Jeanne Crane, chairwoman of the Orleans County Democratic Party.

Kastenbaum’s family has owned and operated Pinnacle, a zinc and aluminum dye casting manufacturing company, since 1972. She is a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is married to actor and comedian Hiram Kasten. Their daughter, Millicent, is a senior government major at Cornell University.

Kastenbaum told the Orleans Democrats she wants to see Congress work to make college more affordable for students, so many graduates do not have crushing student loan debt. She also said she would fight for good paying jobs, ending income inequality and providing better access to affordable healthcare.

The 27th Congressional District is heavily Republican and includes Orleans and seven other Western New York counties. Collins may have stirred up wrath from some voters, including some Republicans, with his recent endorsement of Donald Trump for president, Crane said.

“We’re going to give it a shot and do our best,” Crane said about Kastenbaum’s campaign.