A new district, but two familiar foes; Democrat Bill Owens is seeking a third term in Congress, and for the second time, Republican Watertown businessman Matt Doheny is seeking to remove him from office.
"We need real leadership here in the North Country," Doheny said.
"I have experience over the last 35 years, being on Main Street, working with people in these communities," Owens said.
At the top on both candidates' lists-- the economy and passing a farm bill. But the hottest topic on the campaign trail is health care reform. A recent poll by Siena College showed about 50 percent of district residents want the bill implemented, 47 percent want it repealed. Owens supports Obamacare, Doheny does not.
"Obamacare is going to leave the entire control of our health care system into 15 unelected people; this is the IPAB, Independent Payment Advisory Board. The crazy part, which I don't think Americans have heard about yet, is that Congress can't even overturn, even a majority of the House and Senate, won't be able to overturn the decisions of this unelected body. It's un-American," Doheny said.
"The Supreme Court has made its decision. We now need to move on, we need to fix it as we go forward and I am perfectly willing to do that and fix the legislation, but we need to move forward and stop fighting about this," Owens said.
This time around, the campaign trail has taken these men to new territory. Due to redistricting, 40 percent is new ground-- communities like Glens Falls and Saratoga. The region was represented by Republican Chris Gibson, who knocked off an incumbent Democrat last election. Doheny is hoping for the same outcome.
"Last time, Congressman Gibson won by double-digit margins there. We have the registration advantage," Doheny said.
But Owens says he is not concerned about the heavily Republican area, referring to it as familiar territory. His former law partner, Republican Ron Stafford, represented the area as a state senator for 36 years.
"Many people know me, both from my work and partnership with Ron. So, I found it pretty easy to introduce myself and get people to understand what my positions are," Owens said.
On the campaign trail, Doheny has had some big names from Washington join him, including House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
"Shows the confidence they have in me," Doheny said. "They are already here and listening to me and I think that bodes well for the North Country."
Owens, on the other hand, has no plans to bring big names to the North Country, instead relying on local support. Republican Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward and Moriah Town Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, also a Republican, marched with him in a Labor Day Parade.
"I want people who know my record over the last 30 years to come out and support me," Owens said. "I think that is more compelling story than any other story."
Now this time, Doheny has the support of the Republican and Conservative Parties. You may remember in 2010 another candidate had the backing of the Conservative Party and captured 6 percent of the votes. Doheny lost to Owens by just 2 percentage points.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>