Tompkins legislator announces run for Congress
A third democratic candidate has announced his run for Congress in what may soon be the 23rd district. He's also the third candidate to come out of Ithaca. Tamara Lindstrom tells us about the newest competitor to enter the race.
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TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. -- In what has become a hotbed of candidates, a third Democrat has entered the race to fill Maurice Hinchey's seat in Congress.
"I want to put the focus back on building the middle class in America again. We need to invest in education and in infrastructure. That's something that hasn't been happening," said Nate Shinagawa.
Vice Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, Shinagawa will battle fellow Ithacans Dan Lamb and Leslie Danks Burke for the Democratic nod. But he's focused on taking on the Republican incumbent in what will likely soon be part of the 23rd Congressional District.
"I'm eager to take on Tom Reed," Shinagawa said. "Tom Reed is a congressman that's very close to the oil and gas industries. He's close to the Republican leadership. And I believe that I'm the candidate because I have the energy, the integrity and the determination to take him on and change Washington."
Shinagawa says his six years on the county legislature and his work as a hospital administrator in the Southern Tier gives him the background he needs to run on a platform of experience and change.
"I've also been part of the community in Chemung, in Steuben, and in Tioga counties because I've worked in health care in that area," the candidate said. "So I know the people, I know the culture and I know the issues that are important to all of us."
Shinagawa has pushed for a moratorium on hydrofracking for the past four years.
"Unless we know absolutely, 100 percent that it's safe, that it won't effect our environment, that it won't diminish our quality of life," Shinagawa said. "And right now I am not satisfied with the government's response."
With endorsements from Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson and other local leaders, Shinagawa hopes his grassroots efforts will snag the Democratic ticket in June.