Don Hassig wants his supporters to cast their votes for U.S. Rep. Bill Owens on Election Day.
Hassig, who will be on the Green Party line in the race for New York's 21st Congressional District, announced on Saturday that he has "given much thought to what is best for the 21st Congressional District with regards to who is representing the people of this area." For Hassig, that means voting for Owens, the Democratic incumbent.
Watertown businessman Matt Doheny is Owens' chief rival in Tuesday's election. He will be on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines.
Owens, Doheny, Hassig
"There must be a transition from the representative being a person who favors the wealthy, corporate people to the representative being a person who favors the common people," Hassig said in a press release. "If Matt Doheny were to be elected to Congress, the district would have a representative who favors the wealthy, corporate people even more than Congressman Owens does. Thus, I believe that it is best for William Owens to continue as the member of Congress for this area until I am able to succeed in obtaining that office."
Owens said in an emailed statement this morning that he's grateful for Hassig's support.
"I'm grateful for the support I've received from across the district and look forward to continuing my work helping to create jobs in New York," he said.
Doheny's campaign declined to comment on Hassig's endorsement.
Hassig has run an active campaign since announcing his candidacy in January. He polled at 6 percentage points in a September Siena poll on the race, but a new Siena poll released last week showed him at just 4 percent.
"I want Congressman Owens to win," Hassig said in the release. "Thus, I am setting in motion a strategy that is likely to (e)nsure his victory on Election Day. I will vote for Congressman Owens. I am asking my supporters to vote for Congressman Owens. I have called key supporters and requested their assistance in spreading the word on this strategy."
In a message left for the Enterprise, Hassig said he thinks Owens can win re-election if he has support from Green Party voters.
Hassig said he plans to run for the seat again and believes that he can win it in 2020. He said he also wants his supporters to call Owens' campaign on Wednesday to tell him that they switched their vote.
"I want my supporters who helped (re-elect) Congressman Owens to tell him that they want him to change his mind about fracking and become a strong opponent of shale gas and shale oil extraction by fracking or by any other technology," Hassig said. "I want these voters to thank Congressman Owens for the good work that he has done to assist Cancer Action NY in the work of using scientific knowledge to prevent cancer in America. ... I want my voters who voted for Owens to tell him that he must become a strong opponent of the wars of aggression that our country is waging in the Middle East. I want my voters who voted for Owens to tell him that he must become an advocate for a ban on factory farming."