And speaking of Democratic primaries, the crowded field of six Congressional hopefuls that include Judy Aydelott, John Hall, Jim Martorano, Darren Rigger, Gary Suraci and Ben Shuldiner (pictured above), who all look forward to getting the nod from voters, will narrow to one on September 12, 2006, after ballots have been counted.
Never before has there been such interest, intensity and fervor to take on Republican incumbent Sue Kelly (news), who represents Croton-on-Hudson, in the 19th Congressional district (see: www.take19.org).
Like recent primary-losing Democrat and one-time Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman (news) from Connecticut, Representative Kelly’s six-term seat is also vulnerable in large part due to support of President Bush and the Iraq War.
Representative Kelly has been widely criticized for her close relationship with embattled former House leader Republican Tom Delay (news)—who will not seek re-election this year. In fact, her loyalty badge says that Rep. Kelly has accepted over $11,000 in campaign contributions from Rep. Delay during the past three years—more than any other representative from all of New York State (see: “Tom and Sue Sitting in a Tree…“).
Close to home, she made some local headlines when former appointed Republican Trustee James Steinberg and Republican Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt joined up with Rep. Kelly in early 2006. The “Schmidt team” urged her to move forward and support legislation that would close a Federal loophole which allows waste haulers to seek exemption from local laws when the Surface Transportation Board classifies them as a common carrier—as in the case pending with Regus Industries LLC at 1A Croton Point Avenue.
Aside from the quagmire that is now an Iraqi civil war where 132,000 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen are stuck honorably serving our country, Rep. Kelly also must demonstrate how she will protect her constituents from a potential catastrophe at Indian Point. At the 2,000 MW facility, there are three aged and leaking nuclear power plants located seven miles away from Croton-on-Hudson in Buchanan, New York—which are owned by Entergy Nuclear Northeast (news).
During the Congressional candidate forum, held on April 14, 2006, at the Croton Free Library (see: “Croton Dems Hosting Congressional Candidate Forum“), the participants made it clear to the audience and to each other that residents who live within the 19th Congressional district care about other important issues too—like increasing funding for public schools, providing affordable health care, creating an energy policy that serves the greater good, reducing the national debt and protecting Social Security programs.