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Oswego city councilor changes parties, gives endorsement to Katko

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News File Photo
Republican John Katko is running against Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei to represent New York's 24th Congressional District. (file photo)

Oswego Common Council Vice President Eric Van Buren has switched parties, and is endorsing Republican congressional candidate John Katko in his race against incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei.

Van Buren, the former Oswego City Democratic Committee chairman, released a statement Wednesday morning saying he made the decision after much thought and consideration.

Katko says he's happy to receive Van Buren's support, and that it's a sign of ongoing change in the region.

"The fact that he's a Democrat who decided at the same time as the endorsement to switch parties, is kind of indicative of people who want some real and sustainable change up in Oswego," Katko said. "They have unbelievable tax increases in Oswego and they still have a lot of economic issues, and I think they're looking at the Republican Party as the best way to address those."

Katko also says he believes people living in Oswego County are taking notice of his campaign.

"Our message is resonating," Katko explained. "And I know that people are listening to it and the more they hear what we have to say, the more they like it, and the more they get excited about it."

Kane Miller, campaign manager for Maffei, issued a statement saying Katko has resorted to announcing endorsements from members of his own party.

A Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Siena poll conducted in September showed Maffei leading Katko by eight percent. The 24th Congressional District includes all or part of four counties, including Oswego, Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties.