Friday, March 7, 2008



You've officially heard it here first! After weeks of speculation and unsubstantiated rumors flying around, I am at the Monroe County Republican Committee's headquarters in Rochester where Randy Kuhl will be announcing any minute now that he will be seeking a third term in Congress.

Here's the text of Congressman Kuhl's prepared statement, which I obtained just moments ago:

WASHINGTON – March 7, 2008 - U.S. Representative John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr. (R,C-Hammondsport) issued the following statement today regarding his decision to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Congressional seat in the 29th District:

"Today, I stand before you to declare my intent to seek a third term as your representative in the United States Congress. When my constituents voted for me in 2004 and again in 2006 they chose to vote for a lifelong resident of the 29th District, who has the experience and convictions to represent their best interest. They know that I care about securing their jobs, protecting their families, and ensuring that they have a government that doesn't control their lives. They know that I represent them, not a political party or any interest group.

Three-quarters of Americans think that we are on the wrong track. From our faltering economy to the skyrocketing cost of oil, people are worried about keeping their jobs, paying for their healthcare and gasoline, and ensuring that their children grow up in a safe and happy home. Regardless of our political affiliation, we all want similar things. We want to know that when we work hard and follow the rules, we will be successful. We want solutions to our nation's problems, and these issues are not Republican problems or Democratic problems, but American problems.

In the good times and the bad, I have always been there to help my neighbors and fellow Americans. Whether I have helped you avoid the bureaucracy of the many government agencies or listened to you during one of my town meetings, I have maintained my devotion to you. I voted to cut taxes so you can keep more of your hard-earned money. I voted for the economic stimulus package that provides relief to cash-strapped Americans and business. I have voted against wasteful spending and abusive earmarks and demanded accountability and transparency from our government. I voted to bring jobs to the district because at the end of the day, the prosperity of our nation, our state, and our community relies on the ability of our citizens to earn a good income and be confident that their job is secure. But there is still a lot more to do. And there are people who want to raise taxes on your income, healthcare, capitol gains, gasoline, and reinstate the death and marriage tax penalty. There are people who are more concerned with making government larger and more expansive and taking your money to do it.

Two years ago, Democrats took the gavel and things have only gotten worse in Washington. We went from a Republican majority who lost its way to a Democratic majority with misguided priorities. And now, more than ever, we need to fight for the hard working men and women of Western New York. We need to make sure that we cut taxes, cut wasteful spending, and cut partisanship. We need to support our troops in Iraq, but we need to bring our men and women safely home as soon as possible, with the honor and dignity they deserve. We need to create energy policy that lessens our dependence on foreign oil and puts our nation on the way to energy independence immediately. We need to ensure that every man, woman and child has access to affordable healthcare.

My election to Congress provided me the opportunity to solve the problems that face our country. I believe in the American Dream. I believe that if you believe in your dream and you work for your dream, anything is possible. We must ensure that the people of New York have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. I am running for re-election because there are serious issues facing this country and I feel that it is my duty and privilege to work for New Yorkers to ensure that their dreams can be realized. This is not a time for partisanship or political games, but a time for progress, action, and solutions. I am running to ensure that this great community has the best representation."


UPDATE: I just came back from the press conference. One of the questions posed to Congressman Kuhl after he gave his statement was whether he expected a primary challenge. At the podium, he was flanked by Maggie Brooks (Monroe County Exec, who was rumored to be a candidate, but gave an absolutely wonderful introduction for Kuhl), Steve Minarik (MonroeGOP chairman), Jay Dutcher (OntarioGOP chairman), and Jack Clancy (YatesGOP chairman). As Congressman Kuhl was about to answer the question, Minarik assured everyone in the room with just one word, "No!" Congressman Kuhl followed suit and said that it was extremely unlikely, given all the support he has from the county committees, and stated that the remaining GOP committee chairmen from the Southern Tier will be joining him in Corning later today.

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