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Politics and Government

Republican Senate candidate on the issues

Karen Dewitt
WRVO News File Photo

The Republican candidate for US Senate, Wendy Long, is describing herself as pro-hydrofracking, for entitlement reform and focused on beating her opponent. Long spoke with reporters in Albany Monday and talked about everything from Paul Ryan to tort reform.

Manhattan attorney Wendy Long is applauding GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's choice for his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Long says that Ryan has begun a serious conversation about what the federal government needs to do about entitlements, a conversation she says should be had this election year.

"We cant just have this happy talk and say everything's fine with Social Security and Medicare and the entitlement programs, because they're not fine," said Long. "They're headed for bankruptcy, and we need to save them and put them on sound footing to ensure the soical safety net is there for those that really need it. And that's what Paul Ryan is trying to do."

In her own race, Long is running again incumbent Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Polls show that Gillibrand has a big lead over Long.

But the Republican candidate sounds undeterred and said she has actually has been helped by a change in the political calendar this election year.

New York's congressional primary was held in June instead of the traditional September. At that time, Long won the Republican nomination for Senate over two other candidates. Long says it has given her more time to campaign against Gillibrand.

"So I've had several months now I can just focus on Kirsten Gillibrand, which is what I intend to do. I think a lot of people just don't know very much about her record," said Long.  "And that's what we're going to be trying to do, is acquaint people with her very poor record when it comes to the economy and job creation."

Long also commented on the controversial and highly anticipated decision by Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration on whether to allow hydrofracking in New York state. It has not been announced when that decision will be made, but has been reported that the Department of Environmental Conservation may allow fracking in some areas of the state.

Long declared that she wants fracking to be allowed in New York, and says Gillibrand should come out in support of it as well.

"I think we should proceed on fracking with all deliberate speed. I think its been shown to be safe," Long said. "I think it's an incredible economic opportunity for New York, great job opportunity. And also, by the way, could revive our manufacturing sector, with the price of energy, the way it could come down there's untold opportunity. Ad I think it should be moved forward as fast as possible."

Gillibrand's staff reportedly says the senator has not opposed fracking, but has demanded measures to safeguard the environment.