With the impending retirement of Congressman Maurice Hinchey and the redistricting of New York state, Democratic candidate Dan Lamb has risen to the occasion in the race against incumbent Richard Hanna to represent the 22nd district.
Lamb started working for Hinchey in 1997 as his district representative. During his tenure, Lamb said they worked to see how they could bring the resources of the federal government to meet the region’s needs.
“I see a Congress today which is not meeting the needs for this region,” Lamb said. “I see the region’s assets and challenges. From farming towns to universities to the cities. I’m familiar with the needs of the regions and what a congressman should be doing for the region.”
Lamb said he decided to run after comparing his qualifications to those of his opponent.
“I haven’t heard him speak in a way that inspires young people to stay in the area after they have graduated,” Lamb said. “My experience having done this work for Congressman Hinchey all these years gives me unique qualifications. I know how to run an office, do legislative research.”
He is focusing his campaign on three core issues: Medicare, creating jobs and protecting the region from natural gas drilling.
“[Hanna] supports privatized Medicare,” Lamb said. “I want to maintain traditional Medicare. Secondly is the issue of jobs in this region. We need to return traditional manufacturing jobs to upstate NY.”
Lamb has taken a stance against natural gas drilling in the area.
“I’m against gas drilling in upstate New York because we can’t protect public health, the environment and property values,” Lamb said. “Voters want someone who is informed on this issue top to bottom. My opponent has a conflict of interest because he has investments in the oil and gas industry.”
Additionally, he promised to push for trade reform legislation.
“We need to stop signing agreements that don’t offer reciprocity,” Lamb said.
He also advocates maintaining access to public education.
“It’s a terrible time to be cutting the Pell Grant program,” Lamb said. “It’s cutting people off from getting the chance to earn a college degree. I think college should be for anyone who wants to better their lives and they should have access to it.”
Lamb said his campaign is geared toward young people, citing the importance of voters starting young.
“They should have a say in who we choose to run this country,” Lamb said. “Voting at a young age, it’s an important tradition to start early in life. The country suffers when young people don’t participate in elections.”
He said that young people should be involved in this election.
“We have a dozen Binghamton University students volunteering in campaign,” Lamb said. “They’re a great addition. Together we registered over 2,000 Binghamton University students to vote.”
Lamb said he is asking people to look seriously at this race to affect change in congress.
“If we don’t change members of this Congress, it will be two more years of the same thing,” Lamb said. “We need change. We can’t expect to send the same people back and get different results.”