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Coverage of central and northern New York's congressional races, including the primary races and the general election.Races covered include the 24th Congressional District, currently held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), who is running for reelection; the 22nd Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld), who is retiring; and the 21st Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro).

Central New Yorkers organizing Trump rally

Payne Horning
Mohawk Valley/Central New Yorkers for Trump leader Jim Zecca, left, and volunteers organize before a press conference in Utica's historic train station.

Ahead of the Empire State's April 19 primary, Donald Trump supporters in central New York are organizing to gain support for the presidential candidate.

In Utica's historic train station, a group of Mohawk Valley citizens gathered to say they think the country is off track and Trump is the only candidate who can help.

"We've been going in the wrong direction for too long, in particular the last eight years," Perry Onderdonk said. "He's achieved personal greatness and I think he can apply his business acumen to fixing what's wrong with our country today."

Onderdonk was one of nine at the press conference who said they were inspired by the real estate mogul. The group did not specify which Trump proposals or policies they favored. Rather, they listed what they thought was wrong with America and right with Trump.

"Trump is going to give us the change we're looking for," Ray Distefano said "He may not have 100 percent of the answers, but you know darned well he's going to try as hard as he can to get things straightened out in this country."

Others, like Tim Trent said the state should board the trump train.

"He has a winning attitude," Trent said. "He is an achiever. He expects to win. He expects America to win, he puts America first and that's tremendously refreshing to me."

The group is planning to hold a march in Rome on Saturday, April 2. Organizer Jim Zecca stressed that they want the event to be peaceful.

"We all believe recent events against Trump by political disrupters is violating his and our First Amendment rights to free speech and are placing American voters under siege," Zecca said.

Several prominent New York Republicans have also called for the empire state to support Trump, including Finger Lakes area Congressman Tom Reed, Onondaga County  GOP Chairman Tom Dadey and former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.

Polls show that Trump is far ahead of his rivals Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich in New York.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is leading Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in polls. Clinton will campaign in Syracuse on Friday

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.