From left, Rep. Bill Owens of Plattsburgh and Democratic candidate for Congress Aaron Woolf of Elizabethtown speak with Potsdam Agway owner Daryl Kolanko today.
By CRAIG FREILICH
POTSDAM – Rep. Bill Owens waited until today’s tour of Norfolk and Potsdam before giving his endorsement to Democrat Aaron Woolf, but he did give it to Woolf today.
“He has a real sense of the district and its needs for jobs and development,” Owens said at the Potsdam Agway this morning.
Owens has held the North Country congressional seat for five years, since Republican John McHugh left the House to become President Obama’s Secretary of the Army.
“I believe he has the right positions on the Ryan bill (the budget plan by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin), and on immigration reform,” Owens said as he and Woolf toured Daryl Kolanko’s Agway store and spoke with him about his business.
“Aaron understands the importance of agriculture in the district, of farm labor here, and border trade,” Owens said of issues that have been important to him in his five years in Congress.
“It’s an incredible honor to get his endorsement,” Woolf said.
If he is the nominee and the winner in November, Woolf said, “It will be an honor to follow in his footsteps and if I can, to have the success he has had.”
Woolf has the endorsements of the Democratic Committee leaders in each of the 13 counties in the 21st Congressional District, but Woolf may yet face a primary challenge from Town of Macomb Councilman Stephen Burke.
Other chief rivals for the seat include Republicans Elise Stefanik of Willsboro, a former Republican political aide in Washington, and Republican businessman Matt Doheny of Watertown, who has challenged Owens before and lost.
The “jobs tour” began at Ductman Mechanicals in Norfolk, where visitors were impressed with their ability to fabricate precision metal parts with plasma beams.
They then went to Kolanko’s Potsdam Agway, Northern Music and Video, and then to Sergi’s Italian Restaurant for lunch before continuing on to Malone.