Two of the candidates in the race for New York's new 21st Congressional District took to the airwaves this week with new television advertisements.
Incumbent Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, and Republican challenger Matt Doheny, a businessman from Watertown, both released 30-second TV spots that stuck to the positive, choosing to keep the focus on themselves.
Doheny's ad, "Fighting for Jobs," hit TV stations on Tuesday. He said in a statement that he wants to introduce himself to voters he hasn't had a chance to meet yet.
Rep. Bill Owens, left, and Matt Doheny
(Enterprise file photos)
In the ad, Doheny says he grew up in the North Country, worked his way through college and then spent his career retooling failing companies and "helping small businesses.
"I came back home to be closer to my mom. Now, my wife Mary and I are starting our family right here," he says in the ad. "I'll use my business experience in Congress to help get our economy moving again, to create jobs right here in the North Country and to put an end to Washington's out-of-control spending ... because we need a representative who will fight for your job - not his own."
The ad shows Doheny talking to business owners, manufacturers and other voters. It also includes his mother and his wife.
The Owens campaign declined to comment on the ad, but Josh Schwerin, regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an email that if Doheny "is running on his business record, he's going to have to defend his history of laying off workers and giving bonuses to CEOs.
"If you think Washington needs more advocates for Wall Street, then you've found your candidate," Schwerin said.
In his first 30-second spot, Owens focuses less on his personal background and more on his record and what he wants to do to spur job growth. Owens begins by discussing the closure of the Plattburgh Air Force Base and its eventual redevelopment, which Owens said he played a role in, creating more than 2,000 jobs.
"Luckily, Plattsburgh had and continues to have a great work force, great facilities, and a great quality of life," Owens said in an email to his supporters. "I worked with a group of folks to attract investment to the area. Sitting down and working with different stakeholders, we were able to attract investment from Canada and elsewhere to redevelop the base. It's that experience that drives me to work for jobs across the North Country and upstate New York."
Owens says in the ad that he wants to attract more jobs from Canada and provide tax credits for businesses that create "good jobs." He also continues to push for a crackdown on Chinese currency manipulation.
In the ad, Owens is seen talking to business owners and other constituents.
Doheny's camp reacted quickly to the ad. Doheny said Owens' job creation claims are "unsubstantiated" and that more people are unemployed in the North Country now than when Owens first took office.
"Bill Owens touts this mythical jobs record from his private sector days, but has refused to name what businesses he allegedly helped attract here," Doheny said in an emailed statement. "By rehashing his 2009 ad, he'd love for voters to overlook his awful job creation record in Congress. That's because in just three years, he's wiped out all his alleged gains from a 25-year career."
Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.