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Broome County teacher declares candidacy for Hanna seat

Bret Jaspers

Republican George Phillips of Broome County announced Monday he will run to replace retiring Rep. Richard Hanna in Congress. 

Phillips is a history teacher at Seton Catholic High School in Binghamton. He lost a tight race for Congress against longtime Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey in 2010, before district lines were redrawn.

Speaking to reporters at Rec Park in Binghamton, Phillips said he plans to focus on the economy in his campaign.

"Unfortunately we all have friends here in upstate New York who have lost their jobs and left or have family that have left for better jobs," he said. "We're facing it with the whole national economy, but we need dramatic change here in New York right now."

Phillips, a former congressional staffer, said he would outline specific policy proposals in the coming weeks. He emphasized that he will run on a “Jack Kemp”-style platform. Kemp is the late congressman and vice presidential candidate known for supply-side economic policies. Phillips says he has worked on policy research with the Jack Kemp Foundation.

Phillips faces Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney of Oneida County in the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, David Gordon of Oneida County has also declared his candidacy. More candidates are expected to run in what’s considered a “swing district.” The 22nd district covers a wide area that includes Oneida County and parts of Oswego County in the north and parts of Tioga County in the south.