Niagara Gazette — Two Democrats seeking re-election to Congress are hoping for a solid boost in their campaigns from former President Bill Clinton, who still commands immense respect in the party.
As announced earlier, Clinton is scheduled to host a rally Friday for U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-Clarence, and U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, in Rochester. Slaughter's 28th district bordering Lake Ontario no longer includes Niagara and Orleans counties.
Niagara and Orleans will be part of Hochul's new 27th District, starting Jan. 1. The rest of her extensive district covers parts of Ontario and Monroe counties as well as Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming and sections of Erie County.
Both candidates are involved in what party insiders describe as bruising battles to retain their seats. Even at this late stage, Clinton's personal endorsement should provide vital support. Hochul is opposed by Republican Chris Collins, a former Erie County executive, and Slaughter is facing Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, a Republican.
Collins, a wealthy businessman, has been spending lavishly on his campaign as the mandated financial reports will show after Nov. 6. Hochul, a former Erie County clerk, acutely aware of Collins' deep pockets, has been stressing her efforts to assist small businesses, the middle class and senior citizens. She also drives home the need to balance the budget, pointing out that her opponent has a penchant for suggesting spending plans that the nation cannot afford at this time. Some of Collins' paid-political ads feature an obvious mean streak, like the one (black-and-white) portraying his opponent as some kind of evil spirit. At least that's the impression.
Unlike Collins, Hochul cites the need for a cooperative approach to solving problems. "President Clinton represents the very best of bi-partisan leadership, and his record demonstrates the positive progress we can make when Democrats and Republicans work together to grow our economy," she adds.