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Senators show their support for Deacon

Ellen Abbott
Sen. Charles Schumer (center) speaks about his support for congressional candidate Colleen Deacon (left), a former staffer of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (right)

There’s less than three weeks to go before congressional primary day in New York state. In tthe 24th District, the Democratic primary race is between Colleen Deacon, Eric Kingson and Steven Williams. This week, Deacon had some high profile supporters in town to boost her campaign. And she offered a hint of what a campaign against incumbent Republican Rep. John Katko would look like, if she wins the nomination.

Sen. Charles Schumer led things off outside Sunshine’s Coffee Shop in DeWitt.

“I am so proud to stand here and say with Sen. Gillibrand, We endorse Colleen Deacon, and she will be a great Congress member from central New York,” said Schumer.

Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed Deacon months ago, but came to Syracuse yesterday to stand with the candidate and applaud her support for paid family leave legislation. It’s something Gillibrand in particular has been promoting for a couple of years now. And Gillibrand says the only way to get the legislation through Congress is to get more lawmakers in Washington like Deacon, who, as a single mother was forced go on food stamps and Medicaid.

“Congress doesn’t do anything about it because they don’t live that life. They don’t know what it’s like, and they lack the empathy that would actually support policies that would make a difference,” said Gillibrand.

Deacon ignored her primary opponents as she talked about the importance of the legislation that would establish a benefit for employees funded through a payroll deduction matched by employers, much like Social Security. She instead focused her comments on Katko, who has proposed an optional parental savings account.

"This is no surprise, given the head of his party, Donald Trump, even goes so far as to call paid leave, ‘something you have to be careful of.’ The Katko-Trump agenda is wrong for the people of this district,” said Deacon.

The 24th Congressional District includes Onondaga, Auburn, Wayne Counties and parts of Oswego County. The primary is June 28.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.