Plattsburgh — Plattsburgh’s American Legion Post 20 On Wednesday night, NY-21 Democratic candidate Matt Castelli wrapped up his Town Hall tour of all 15 counties in the district.
Clinton County residents were given an hour to ask Castelli, who is seeking to remove incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik, questions about topics she felt were most important in this election cycle.
Those who didn’t want to ask questions in public were given the opportunity to go one-on-one with Castelli after City Hall was over.
Controversial topics that were publicly discussed included abortion and gun control.
When one of the audience members asked Castelli what her agenda would be on the opening day if elected, Castelli said, “Codifying women’s choice into law,” to applause from the audience.
“Millions of American women are now under threat after the Roe v. Wade ruling was overturned. You may think you have some protection here in New York, but there is a real threat from people like Congressman Stefanik,” he continued.
“The only way millions of American women can get their rights back is if women’s right to choose is codified in law, and that is our number one priority.”
When asked about her position on the Second Amendment, Castelli said, “I am a strong Second Amendment supporter. I am a gun owner myself. I vowed, the Second Amendment is not going anywhere — it’s not my watch.”
“While recognizing that gun violence is on the rise in this country, I believe we have an opportunity to respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Every time we see incidents like this, we hear statistics that gun violence is the number one killer of children in this country.”
A woman in the audience heard it and said, “Oh my God.”
“We have to bring people together and respond with a certain degree of urgency,” Castelli continued.
Early in City Hall, another question was raised by the audience as to why there was no discussion between Castelli and Stefanik, with Castelli replying that it was “unclear”.
“As you know, she served four terms. In each of them she had an argument,” he said.
“I think it’s really a disadvantage, not just for me, but for all of you.”
My NBC5 gave both candidates a chance to debate Thursday afternoon at the West Side Ballroom in Plattsburgh.
However, only one candidate turned up, Castelli.
When asked to comment on why lawmakers did not participate in the debate, Stefanik’s senior adviser, Alex DeGrasse, said: general election debate. ”
“As the congressman told NBC5 last week, she made multiple appearances today at a longstanding public event in Herkimer County, including first responders, small business visits, and a keynote speech at a dinner attended by hundreds. NBC5 is a disgrace and has shamelessly allowed downstate Democrats to stage this desperate event.The good news is this gun Bans, tax hikes, elections that will send Ho-Chol Democrats back downstate within 13 days.”
My NBC5 changed the event from a debate to a one-on-one interview with Castelli after it was revealed that Stefanik would not participate in the debate.
One of the questions My NBC5’s Stewart Ledbetter posed to Castelli was how much of Stefanik’s nickname, “a far-left downstate Democrat from Poughkeepsie,” was true.
“We could be here all day unraveling all these lies,” Castelli said.
“I was born in Poughkeepsie. I voted for NY-21. She is centrist, and moderates like me are far left. I live in Glens Falls. I was born and raised in upstate New York. After the Little League game, I went to Stewart for ice cream. Congressman Stefanik actually lives outside the district. I’m the only one who lives in the district, and she lives farther back in the state than I do. So I think she’s really downstate her RINO in this race. ”
Castelli was then asked what the voter decision would be.
“When decisions are made in Washington, D.C., does it come down to who they trust to put their interests at the forefront? , it’s clear that she sold us out and left us behind to advance her career.”
“We need confident, trustworthy people who put their future first, not their own interests.”
Ledbetter told the Press Republican that Stefanik and Castelli were offered multiple dates to participate in the debate.
My NBC5 aired Castelli’s segment on Sunday at 10am.