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Deacon attacks Katko for staying silent over latest Trump controversy

Colleen Deacon for Congress; Congressman John Katko
WRVO News File Photo
Democrat Colleen Deacon, left, is challenging incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) for New York's 24th Congressional District seat in November

Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Deacon is calling out her Republican opponent, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), for not criticizing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over comments he made about Gold Star parents of a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004.

During the Democratic National Convention, Khizr Khan, father of Capt. Humayun Khan, talked about the loss of his son in Iraq. Trump tweeted several apparent criticisms of Khan and his wife, and the public feud has continued for nearly a week. 

On Tuesday, Deacon, who is running for New York's 24th Congressional District seat against Katko, was critical of the incumbent for not issuing a rebuke of Trump's comments. 

“There is no defense for insulting a family who gave the ultimate sacrifice," according to a statement from the Deacon campaign." "For Congressman John Katko to stay silent on Trump’s recent attacks sends a clear message to central New York voters about whose interests he is really looking out for: his own party. Congressman John Katko cannot have it both ways. Since announcing his run for president, Donald Trump has launched attacks on military families, veterans, Americans with disabilities – and yet Congressman Katko has tried to play both sides and work the politics in his favor.”

Katko has said previously that he is concerned about the tone and divisive rhetoric coming from Trump. Katko has not endorsed Trump, and has said Trump will have to earn his vote.

The Katko campaign released a statement to WRVO News in response to Deacon's claims, but made no mention of Trump by name.

"U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero," Katko said in a statement. "He selflessly served our great nation and gave his life to protect our freedom and our democracy. Diminishing his or his family's sacrifice was incredibly disrespectful.  As the father of an Army ROTC Cadet, I strongly disagree with statements made against Captain Khan and his family -- and believe that any candidate for office should strongly resist the urge to politicize this further.  Once again, I urge a better, more substantive discourse in this election."

The 24th Congressional District includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western part of Oswego County. 

Jason has served as WRVO's news director in some capacity since August 2017. As news director, Jason produces hourly newscasts, and helps direct local news coverage and special programming. Before that, Jason hosted Morning Edition on WRVO from 2009-2019. Jason came to WRVO in January of 2008 as a producer/reporter. Before that, he spent two years as an anchor/reporter at WSYR Radio in Syracuse.