NY-21 candidate Watson moves to Plattsburgh | Local News


PLATSBURGH – New York’s 21st Congressional District candidate Ezra Watson made his first campaign stop in Plattsburgh on Saturday.

“If you choose to give me the honor of your vote, I will go to work every day fighting to improve your life, all your lives, so join me on the path to the future,” he said. he declared via a megaphone at Parc de la Trinité in downtown.


Watson, 46, of Wilton, was the first Democrat to declare his candidacy for the seat of U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) in April.

Now he’s one of four who have entered the race, along with attorney Matt Putorti of Whitehall, former US speed skater and victim of crime advocate Bridie Farrell of North River, and most recently , former CIA agent and head of counterterrorism Matt Castelli of Wilton.

Watson claimed the other three Democrats were primarily concerned with identity and said he didn’t think they had come up with real proposals to tackle serious issues such as climate change, healthcare and infrastructure.

He said he aligns himself with progressive members of Congress like US Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), Jamaal Bowman (D-New York) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) as well as the American senator Bernie Sanders (I -Vermont) since the climatic and health crises are at the head of their agenda.

He said a stronger progressive caucus would help eliminate the wait before federal Build Better legislation is passed.


Speaking to the Press-Republican after his speech, Watson said several factors motivated him to come forward: deep concerns about “the erosion of our democratic system,” the influence of multinational and special interests, and weaknesses in the US healthcare system and employment infrastructure exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also thinks that being a father is what made him decide to “get up off the couch, step back and try to do something.”

This is particularly linked to his concerns about climate change. Watson believes that future generations will inherit “the worst climate disaster that we have yet to see” and “will be the ones who will inherit the brunt of our inaction.”

During his original speech, – in the presence only of his wife, Jarunya Sudsadang-Watson; their daughter Evelyn Watson, a first year student; and supporter Wink Edelman-Watson said the biggest threat to livelihoods is climate change.

Highlighting more frequent wildfires and flooding, as well as water shortages, extreme heat waves and crop failures in parts of the United States, Watson said climate change was no longer a future threat. hypothetical.

But he argued that the problem can be solved by “strong and decisive action”. Watson said he would vote for the Green New Deal – a proposal that aims to move the United States away from fossil fuels and tackle climate change – saying it will create millions of jobs while preparing the country for the future.

He also expressed concern about the continued approval by the Biden administration of permits authorizing oil drilling on public and tribal lands.


Watson denounced the influence of corporations on politics.

He said Stefanik “has been in the pocket of special interests for years” and has become “the leader of the insurgent wing of the Republican Party”.

“She takes money from the super PACs and the military industrial complex, including Harris, while spreading lies and turning a blind eye to the needs of her constituents.”

Watson has said he is not taking money from corporate interests or super PACs and categorically denies it.

“So there will be nothing between your needs and your demands and me if I enter government – when I enter government, Congress. “


Watson supports free tuition at all public colleges and universities, as well as training for those who would prefer to enter trades.

He claimed to have spoken to a US Air Force recruiter who said there were no qualified people in the country to hire for advanced defense programs. Watson said a “massive brain drain” in the country was a national defense crisis.

“We should pave the way to university with golden bricks, for free, to get us back on track,” he said emphatically.

“Is anyone here in this country qualified to lead advanced projects in the US Air Force?” Send them to school! Pay their way!

“There is a genius around every corner. We have to give it a chance.


Watson said he strongly supports Medicare for All, highlighting his own difficulties accessing health care as a full-service, albeit under contract, technical worker in the semiconductor industry.

He postulated that other workers in the odd-job economy who are also not fully covered by insurance as well as small businesses facing higher premium charges could support the program. He joked that such a system could be paid for in the same way as a 20-year war, and it would likely be much cheaper.

Watson said rural America has been largely forgotten, particularly highlighting the lack of broadband coverage which he said would be addressed in the federal infrastructure package if passed.

He said reliable broadband is essential, necessary for working, learning, competing and staying connected to loved ones.

“Elise Stefanik has been promising to strengthen our Internet infrastructure for years, but I don’t see it.”


Stefanik’s senior adviser Alex deGrasse said it was “a race to the far left” for the district’s Democratic primary field.

“Far-left Democratic candidates like Mr. Watson support Medicare for All, a gun ban and the biggest spending and tax hike in our country’s history – the 3 $ 500 billion from Joe Biden, “he said.

DeGrasse said Stefanik had a strong performance track record for NY-21, highlighting hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure funding through grants from the Regional Frontier Commission North, the multi-year bill on the highway and his work with former Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai chairman, whom he said the state has received $ 99 million for broadband funding.

Email to Cara Chapman:

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Twitter: @PPR_carachapman

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