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Elections
Coverage of the 2016 presidential election from NPR News and related blogs, including candidate profiles, interviews and talking points.On-air specials will also be broadcast as Election Day approaches, including the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.WRVO also provides coverage of regional elections both on-air and online.

State GOP chair to Katko: Time to endorse Donald Trump

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Ellen Abbott
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WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) still hasn’t publicly endorsed Republican Donald Trump for president, and state party officials aren’t too happy about it. Katko is running for reelection in a congressional district that has changed parties for the last five election cycles, and has expressed concern over Trump’s tone and divisive rhetoric, saying Trump will have to earn his vote. New York State Republican Party Chair Ed Cox says he understands Katko’s reluctance.

“Circumstances are different in Onondaga [County] than they are in a national election this and that.  And that’s basically a discussion of policy issues, things like that.  But the bottom line is, you’re a Republican, you endorse a Republican candidate.”

Cox says he believes Katko will eventually endorse Trump.

“I can understand on a local level, when you are representing your districts, you have differences, but the congressional candidates, should come out, and I think they will, endorse Donald Trump.”

Katko’s opponent in November, Democrat Colleen Deacon, has been calling on Katko to say publicly whether he supports Trump or not.

Speaking after an event in Syracuse Monday, Katko told WRVO News that his position hasn’t changed.

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Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has not endorsed Donald Trump for president and says he won't unless Trump changes his divisive rhetoric.

“I’ve talked about that a lot of times and I’ve made my position pretty clear and it’s not going to change unless I see some change from the candidate,” said Katko.

Katko isn’t the only upstate Republican to waiver on their support for Trump. Last week, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) became the first Republican member of Congress to say that he would support Democrat Hillary Clinton and not Trump.