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Deacon: 'Too little, too late,' from Katko, as he and other Republicans condemn Trump

Tom Magnarelli
Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Deacon at a rally at Syracuse City Hall.

Republican Rep. John Katko said he will not be voting for his party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, after sexually aggressive comments Trump made about women in 2005 were leaked.

In a statement on Facebook, Katko said he will not be voting for Donald Trump and called the remarks from the 2005 tape offensive, disgusting and inexcusable.

Katko also told syracuse.com that Trump should seriously consider dropping out of the race.

Katko’s opponent in his reelection, Democrat Colleen Deacon, said at a rally Sunday that Katko’s stance is too little, too late. Katko has refused to support Trump, previously in the campaign.

Deacon said these newly surfaced comments from Trump perpetuate rape culture and sexual assault on women.

“This is just a long line of terrible things that he has said and only adds to the fact that their representative did not stand against him and he did not speak up and disqualify him as somebody who could be president until it was politically expedient,” Deacon said. “If you’re going to wait until after you’ve seen a whole number of Republican members of Congress, running for Congress, decide to denounce him, then it’s okay for you to denounce him, that just shows that it’s cowardly. It does not show leadership and it shows that you will wait until you have backing from your party to make these announcements.”

Katko spokeswoman Erin O'Connor later responded in a statement to WRVO News:

Colleen Deacon is eager to nationalize a local race. The problem is that John Katko has repeatedly stood up to his own party and refused to support Donald Trump. Colleen Deacon, on the other hand had no issue pledging loyalty to her party and issuing a no-questions-asked endorsement of her nominee. The rally is further indication of the of the harshly divisive, party-first approach of Colleen Deacon.

Katko is leading the 24th Congressional District, which includes Syracuse and Oswego, by a wide margin according to a recent Siena College poll. Deacon is polling about 19 points behind Katko. Deacon said polling has not been a good predictor of the winner in this swing district for the last few election cycles. She said she is hoping support for her will break soon.

Other Republican members of Congress and GOP congressional candidates in central and northern New York also condemned Trump's remarks about women, although none said whether it would impact their vote in the presidential race.

Below are the statements from GOP members of Congress and candidates for Congress.

Rep. John Katko, 24th Congressional District, representing central New York, statement on Facebook:

"Robin and I find the comments made by Donald Trump offensive, disgusting, and inexcusable. These comments are horrific, but are sadly only the latest in a series of vulgar and inappropriate comments and behavior. Faced with two candidates with serious flaws, I have long declined to endorse or support Donald Trump in this race. Today, many others in my party are joining me. Neither candidate shares my values. I cannot support Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump has not and will never earn my vote."

Rep. Elise Stefanik, 21st Congressional District in the North Country, statement on Facebook:

"Donald Trump's inappropriate, offensive comments are just wrong - No matter when he said them or whatever the context. I hope his apology is sincere."

Rep. Tom Reed, 23rd Congressional District in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier, statement:

"Women are never to be talked about in this way. As someone with eight older sisters, a wife and daughter I care deeply about, it is disappointing and offensive to hear these words. It is not right and these comments must be called out for what they are, just wrong."

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, candidate for 22nd Congressional District, which stretches from Binghamton to Utica, statement:

"Donald Trump's words about women are disgusting but when is Kim Myers going to denounce Hillary Clinton's corruption and law breaking that have jeopardized national security? Kim Myers wants to change the subject to Trump to distract from her record of enriching herself with corporate welfare, violating labor laws and cheating American workers by outsourcing their jobs to China."

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.