North Country voters cast ballots for NY congressional primaries - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

North Country voters cast ballots for NY congressional primaries

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Matt Doheny Matt Doheny
Elise Stefanik Elise Stefanik
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Election Day is months away, but Tuesday the New York primaries for Congress were underway. Voters across New York state are choosing who they want to represent their party in the general election this November.

In the North Country one race has everyone's attention. Voters are deciding which Republican will run for New York's 21st Congressional District in November. It's a battle between Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik.

"Very active with the party and I decided, well they're having a primary, I got to decide which one I want," said Audrey Manor from Plattsburgh.

Doheny and Stefanik share similar goals. Both say if they win the congressional seat, their number one job will be to create jobs in the North Country.

"Have a flatter, fairer and simpler tax code with lower taxes so hard working North Country folks can save more of their money, invest in their small businesses and invest in their families. My second priority would be standing up for our constitutional liberties, especially our Second Amendment rights," said Stefanik

While Stefanik says one of her major goals is to protect North Country residents' right to bear arms, Doheny wants to focus on other areas.

"Make sure we have 21st century infrastructure. Whether it's cellphone and broadband for areas that are inside the blue line, or whether it's we have the roads and the basic infrastructure to make sure our businesses and our entrepreneurs and our governments can live and thrive," said Doheny.

"In primary races, the people who come out to vote are the people who are the very strongest partisans. This is one of the reasons why we saw Eric Cantor lose," said Tom Konda, a SUNY Plattsburgh professor.

Konda says people who don't live in this New York District care about this race for the balance of power in Congress.

"Democrats in Vermont, even if they don't think about this seat, would be happy if it were held for the Democrats. Republicans in Vermont, or for that matter Colorado, Arkansas, anywhere would be happier if it flipped over to the Republicans," said Konda.

They're vying for the seat being vacated by Democrat Bill Owens. The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Aaron Woolf.

Polls in New York close at 9 p.m. Professor Konda says with no incumbent, this race is wide-open and can go either way. 

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