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Ortt makes it official: He’s running for Congress

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 August 2019 at 1:37 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: State Sen. Rob Ortt announces his campaign for Congress this morning at the Lockport VFW. He also has a campaign announcement in Batavia today.

LOCKPORT – State Sen. Rob Ortt is running for Congress for the 27th Congressional District, an eight-county district that includes Orleans County.

Ortt will be seeking the Republican nomination. He expects there will be a primary fight in June. The winner will likely face Nate McMurray, a Democrat who announced his campaign a week ago, in November 2020.

Ortt has been in the State Senate for almost five years, representing the 62ndDistrict with includes Orleans and Niagara counties, and two Monroe County towns – Sweden and Clarkson.

He said he has proven experience fighting for his country, and the “liberal progressives in Albany.”

He wants to be a voice for the rural communities, which he said are often treated as a “fly over.”

Ortt, 40, during a campaign announcement in Lockport this morning said he is a strong supporter of President Donald Trump and be counted on to back the president’s policies of less regulations, and more resources for the border and the military.

“He needs a strong conservative voice to back him up,” Ortt said today at the Lockport VFW, where about 100 supporters gathered despite a downpour.

Ortt is being touted as a “battle-tested patriot” in the campaign. He enlisted in NY Army National Guard in October 2001 in response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. He served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan for nine months in 2008. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge in recognition of his service.

Rob Ortt makes his announcement this morning after being introduced by Bill Ross (right), former Niagara County Legislature chairman. Ortt is joined up front by his wife, Meghan; his parents, Rob and Suzette Ortt; and his sister, Kori Gawrys, and her son.

He was introduced this morning by Bill Ross, the former Niagara County Legislature chairman. Ross said he worked closely with Ortt when he was mayor of North Tonawanda and then as the state senator.

“He is an outstanding communicator,” Ross said. “He knows how to establish rapport with any group. He doesn’t talk down to people.”

Ross said he was impressed that Ortt researched the issues and background of topics, and was prepared to speak before groups from many different sectors.

“He’s not afraid of town meetings or groups with some controversy,” Ross said. “He doesn’t give you a bunch of garbage. He gives you a straight answer and that’s what we need in a congressman.”

Rob Ortt delivered this speech this morning at the Lockport VFW on Caledonia Street:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you, God, for guiding me and providing me the strength to be here today. And to Wayne Jagow, who offered a powerful reminder to us all of the service we have before God. I’d like to thank the VFW for all they do for our veterans and for their hospitality today.  I’d like to personally thank my wife and my best friend Meghan, who has stood with me every step of the way on our journey. And to my parents – mom and dad – I wouldn’t be here without you and all the sacrifices that you made for me and for our family.

It’s so incredibly humbling to be standing before so many friends, family, and patriots today as I announce my candidacy for the United States House of Representatives.

I do so fully aware of the challenges ahead. I enlisted and deployed to Afghanistan because the September 11th attacks represented such a pivotal event to me and to my generation. I believe we are again at such a pivotal moment politically and culturally in our country and here in western New York.


‘I’ve always believed in the call of patriotic service – whether military or public service – the front lines is where I wanted to be.’


A lot of people might ask why anyone, at this time would want to be in Congress? How could anyone believe that they could go to a place so dysfunctional, so corrupt, and make a difference? I would tell you that I was asked similar questions when I was deployed to Afghanistan and when I was elected to the State Senate.

But in each case, I went. I went to avenge my fellow Americans. I went to defend our way of life. I went to give voice to those who feel they have none. I went to fight on behalf of what we believe.

State Sen. Robert Ortt speaks with reporters after a campaign announcement this morning at the Lockport VFW.

The Greatest Generation fought fascism and communism. They defeated despots and dictators. They came from small towns and big cities and they fought for something so much larger than themselves. They fought for this great flag and this great country.

When the towers were struck on that September morning, and when the Pentagon was hit, and when Flight 93 fell – it was abundantly clear to ME what MY calling was. We were attacked by Islamic terrorists. There are members of Congress who are not comfortable with that truth.  They would rather say that “some people did something” and move on. I will not let them get away with that. I will never let anyone dishonor the memory of the 3,000 Americans who died on that day, nor the memory of the Americans who died fighting to avenge them.

I’ve always believed in the call of patriotic service – whether military or public service – the front lines is where I wanted to be.

In Afghanistan, we fought Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists while trying to rebuild a war torn country. Today we have elected members of Congress, members who have never worn the uniform, who question why we were in Afghanistan in the first place. I’ll tell you why. We brought the fight to our enemy, destroying Al Qaeda leadership, and we killed Osama Bin Laden. Every veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom helped make that happen.

Rob Ortt and his wife Meghan face the cameras and a crowd of about 100.

I was lucky to return home to Meghan, to my family.  But I wear a reminder of four of my brothers who were not so lucky. This is what motivates me and inspires me. These men, and countless others, died, for the idea that we call America. And my obligation to them and to our country did not end when I took off the uniform.

So, I want to thank you for joining me at the front line today – the front line for the battle for our country and our future.

You all know me – and all of you have supported me, and have been a welcome contrast to the “America is Evil” chants out there. Because when I was in Albany or around New York City lawmakers, all I would hear is how horrible our country has been and is today.

And anytime we turn on the nightly news, or hear from the President’s attackers, all we hear is that we’re living in an awful, evil nation, an awful time filled with awful people. I don’t believe that and I know you all don’t believe that.

As your next Congressman my message to those who dislike our country so much, who dislike all of you so much, who dislike our heroes like Washington and Jefferson so much, who dislike our laws, will be simple and direct – If you don’t love this country, you are free to leave.  Borders work both ways.

This district embodies the American spirit and all the values that have made our country great. Whether I’m visiting small cities like Lockport and Batavia, suburbs like Hamburg and Victor, or breadbasket farming communities outside Warsaw and Avon – there’s agreement. Yes, we have our differences but we all agree that our country was great, is great, and can become Greater Still. All of you with me here today that give me confidence to say this.

Albany, and by extension, New York state, is a warning to the rest of country. We have seen what the Democratic socialist agenda is: higher taxes, open borders, drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, unionization of our farms, abortion on demand, more rights for criminals, more gun control for our law abiding gun owners.

Our 2nd amendment has been trampled upon. The SAFE Act is an assault on our constitutionally protected right to defend those we love – and it’s only served to make law-abiding citizens less safe.

On one hand, Albany Democrats fought to give free tuition, free health care, and drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens, while on the other, they sought to implement more expensive healthcare, college, and taxes for U.S. citizens.

Democrats have rejected legislation that would have recognized life, that would have given legal protection to an unborn child, and instead, passed the Reproductive Health Act, which will allow abortion up to the moment of birth.

And they sold out our farmers to New York City special interests.

All of that was just THIS year.

Ortt meets with supporters after his campaign announcement this morning in Lockport.

Folks, I’m proud to have been recognized multiple years as the most conservative state senator in Albany. This recognition is a testament to my core values and beliefs.

I’ve stood up to the likes of Andrew Cuomo and I’ll do the same to the extreme and radical Speaker of the House. You all know who I am talking about – she runs the Democrat policy agenda and has never seen a camera she didn’t like, and she’s a New Yorker – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She has a couple of deputies too – Nancy Pelosi and her America-hating “Squad Members” Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. I look forward to meeting them.

In Albany, I have always worked on behalf of our veterans and their families. Whether it was helping to bring the Joseph P. Dwyer program to my district, fighting for more mental health and addiction services, or bringing World War II veterans to Washington DC each year to see the monument built in their honor, I have and will continue to make sure that we keep our commitment to our veterans.

As your congressman, I will fight to get our veterans the healthcare they deserve. I find it disgusting that Democrats care more and talk more about FREE healthcare for illegal immigrants than they do about the health care, addiction, homelessness and suicide rates of our Veterans who served. 22 veterans a day take their own life.

Ortt’s campaign materials tout him as a “battle-tested patriot.”

This should be wholly unacceptable to all of us, and as a veteran I’ll never stop working to ensure that their care comes first, not last. I use the VA for my own healthcare. I know it needs to be better.  If we can’t take care of our warriors who have defended America, then all of the other promises we make don’t matter, because we couldn’t keep our most sacred one.

I’ll work to secure our border. We cannot be the only nation that refuses to respect its own border, its own sovereignty, its laws, and its own people – if we don’t respect our own borders and laws, no one else will.

The Open Borders policies of the Democrats will destroy us. I know this all too well because I’ve seen it first hand on the front lines. I’m the only candidate in this race who has helped to secure the border. I deployed to our southern border as part of Operation Jumpstart. I know what our border patrol is up against. We need to build the Wall, increase funding for border security of all kinds, and close all the loopholes that are allowing people to cut the line and waltz in here consequence-free.

I welcome that fight. Let them tell me – let them tell us – that we need to abolish ICE or open our borders to complete, unfettered lawlessness. I have the credibility and the experience to fight back. Folks, we have a border crisis, and we will continue to have a border crisis until we recognize that immigration needs to be done legally and that our border must be secured.

I’ll fight to keep taxes low. Democrats have a solution for everything – and it always involves more of your money. We’ve got to stop that. The unprecedented economic growth we’re seeing right now is due to Republican policies and conservative economic principles. The Democrats refuse to admit what they’re seeing right before their eyes and that is this: fewer regulations and less government intervention equals more money in the pockets of the middle class.

So if you hadn’t guessed, Yes, I support President Trump, and I’m not afraid to talk about his agenda and all the good he’s doing in this country. And like President Trump, I’ve personally been the target of a partisan witch hunt led by my political opponents.


‘I’m a conservative warrior. A battle-tested Patriot, and I’ll never back down from the fight. I’m not running for Congress to have a seat at the table. I’m running to flip the table over.’


Disgraced, woman-abusing former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came after me and my wife for political gain. The same Eric Schneiderman who went after President Trump. And just like our President, I didn’t back down in the face of baseless accusations.

I told my constituents that I had done nothing wrong and that I would be exonerated. And that’s exactly what happened. A Democrat judge threw out all charges. Today, I stand before you as a candidate for Congress and as a New York State senator.  Eric Schneiderman resigned as a fraud and now, sadly, collects a $63,000 taxpayer funded pension while working as a meditation teacher. So he’s got that going for him.

The left has thrown everything they’ve got at me and lost. They’re doing the same to our President in an attempt to undermine him and impeach him. But again, they will fail, because we’ll stick up for our President. And we’ll take the fight right back to them.

Like so many young men and women who answer the call of their country – our great country – with the response “send me,” I’m once again humbly asking that you send me to serve.

To serve you and this great country of ours. I’m asking each and every one of you to send me to Washington where I can continue to fight for our freedoms and our way of life every single day.

I’m Rob Ortt, I’m a conservative warrior. A battle tested Patriot, and I’ll never back down from the fight. I’m not running for Congress to have a seat at the table. I’m running to flip the table over.  Thank you, God Bless You, and God Bless America.

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