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Interview: Congressional Candidate Josh Riley

Written By Editor on 11/7/22 | 11/7/22

Editor's note: We are publishing online since we couldn't get the interview in the print edition.

1. What experience do you believe best suits you for the District?

I have deep roots in this community and proven experience nationally.  My family came here over 100 years ago to work in the local factories.  As I was growing up, I saw the plants close down and jobs shipped overseas because of corruption in our politics and greed in our economy.  The work ethic and values I learned here have guided my career-civil rights work for kids who needed access to healthcare, a clerkship for a federal judge, bringing Democrats and Republicans together to pass legislation to fight the opioid epidemic, and working with the National Organization of Women to advance women’s equality.  We’re facing big challenges in America and Upstate New York, and my experience will allow me to hit the ground running to address them in Congress.

2. How would you balance the unique needs of the district to those of Washington?

A representative’s most important job is constituent services.  My office will have an open door for anyone who needs help–Republican, Democrat, or Independent.  By working directly with constituents, I’ll be able to make sure their voices are heard in Congress.  

I’m also the only candidate in this race whose campaign is not bankrolled by corporate special interests.  I’m beholden to nobody but this community, and I’ll fight for it in Washington–even if that means going against the big corporations and their lobbyists.

3. What would be your top priorities if elected?

We need to strengthen the Middle Class by creating an economy that works for working families.  I support efforts to create good high-tech manufacturing jobs across Upstate New York while also providing immediate relief to workers, seniors, and small businesses–lowering prescription drug costs, cutting Middle Class taxes, and strengthening Medicare and Social Security.

4. Why would you be a better fit for the district than Marc Molinaro?

There are many contrasts between my opponent and me:

  • I’m from this district, and I live in it.  My opponent has never lived here a day in his life.  He can’t even vote for himself in this election.  

  • I’m offering change–new leadership and a new voice in our politics–whereas my opponent is a career politician who has been in office for 30 years and represents the status quo.  

  • I’m running a grassroots campaign by the people and for the people; I’ve never accepted a penny of corporate PAC money, and 70% of the contributions to my campaign are $25 or less.  By contrast, my opponent is bankrolled by corporate PACs, and he takes positions that benefit his donors at the expense of working families.  For example, he’s taken money from the oil industry while opposing investments in good jobs to fight climate change; he’s taken money from pharmaceutical industry allies while opposing legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs; and he’s taken money from corporate groups that oppose unions while opposing proposals to protect workers.  

  • I’ve proposed ethics reforms, including term limits, a ban on stock trading by politicians, and.  By contrast, even while working families across Upstate New York are struggling to get by, my opponent doubled the debt, using taxpayer money to get himself a luxury SUV and build luxury boxes for his donors.  

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