PLATTSBURGH—Here’s Bill Owens’ closing argument in his Congressional bid, delivered after he cast his vote this morning at the South Plattsburgh Recreation Center.
“I think that people have a clear choice at this time. We can go backwards into the Bush agenda, which includes tax cuts for the very wealthy, privatization of social security and jobs, uh sorry, tax credits for companies that send jobs overseas. The recession, a $4.9 trillion addition to the deficit, or they can move forward with us. We have a plan to crate jobs focusing on Fort Drum, solving the dairy crisis and of course resolving health care. So there’s a clear, unequivocal choice to move forward with someone who’s independent and has been for most of my life, as well as someone who’s going to work in a bi-partisan way to get the job done for the people of this district.”
Owens voted just after his wife Jane, with a few television and still cameras looking on. Making his way down a path to the community center he joked that “it’s like walking down the aisle all over again.” Inside, I asked a poll worker how turnout was.
“She’s 29 and he’s 30,” the woman replied.
“I wish,” Owens retorted.
Talking to reporters afterward, Owens praised Dede Scozzafava as a “long-time public servant,” rhetoric no doubt aimed at attracting residual supporters of the assemblywoman who dropped her campaign this weekend and is now backing Owens over Doug Hoffman, the conservative Republican candidate.
“I think that even though we had differences on the issues, we have a certain core value which is we act in an independent, bi-partisan way that will benefit the people we represent,” Owens said. “I think we share that core value, and that is not shared by Mr. Hoffman.”
He said of Republicans, who have cast this race as a wider referendum, that “I’m looking at what’s happening here, they’re looking at something else and it’s not the people of this district.”