BY MICHAEL RICONDA
As Congressional elections in November draw closer, House Candidate Chris Day is reporting steady progress in his campaign against incumbent Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey in New York’s 17th Congressional District, as he continues to drum up local support from Rockland and Westchester residents.
Day explained to the Rockland County Times he had cleared the first major hurdle by collecting the requisite petitions for the Republican and Conservative lines. This allows him to continue his campaign against Lowey, who holds petitions from Democratic, Working Families and Independence lines.
Day’s primary goals remain on the grassroots level. As the lesser-known candidate, Day said he intended to visit as many areas as possible to meet voters and get his name out. He already reported good responses from both Rockland and Westchester residents.
“We’re going to keep focusing on the ground game,” Day said.
That support translates to campaign cash. Though he acknowledged Lowey’s incumbent status and personal wealth means an easier time gathering money for her war chest, Day reports brisk, well-paced fundraising which totaled $40,000 within five weeks of his April 1 campaign filing.
“She has a bigger stockpile of cash, but we’re confident with the pace of our fundraising and the speed at which we’re getting it up to pace,” Day assured.
Day explained Rockland offered a strong base of support in areas like Orangetown, Stony Point and Clarkstown and Westchester maintains a strong Republican presence in Yorktown. Beyond known Republican strongholds, Day also hopes to reach areas normally neglected by Republican candidates such as Spring Valley in Rockland and Rye in Westchester.
“I want to go out too the areas you wouldn’t normally expect to get voters on the Republican line,” Day said. “If you speak to them and if you show them what your positions are, they will come out for you, but too often they are neglected by the Republican party.”
Day reported voters were responding positively to his platform and particularly to talk of fiscal growth and alleviating tax burdens.
“This is one of the most highly-taxed areas of the country, so people are concerned that the federal government and our representative are not paying attention to the fact that our area is being soaked because of the high cost of living, high property taxes and on top of that high income taxes,” he said.
Still, each county has its own particular controversies Day hopes to address. While Tappan Zee and infrastructure funding difficulties have proven to be hot buttons in Rockland, Housing and Urban Development re-zoning issues are far more prevalent in Westchester. Both sides of the river have shown concern about the controversial Common Core educational standards.
Winning voters is critical to success, but now that petition season has ended, Day might begin an offensive against his opponent, undermining Lowey’s own endorsement base with legal challenges.
“Nita Lowey has turned in Working Families, Democratic and Independence petitions, but we are looking at challenging at least her Independence Party line because we see a lot of discrepancies there.”
Day’s next major event will be a Subway Series viewing fundraiser on May 13, prior to the State GOP convention in Westchester.