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Politics and Government
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.

Katko: If Trump wants my endorsement, he's got work to do

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Ryan Delaney
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WRVO News File Photo
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus)

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) still has not endorsed presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, and says he won't unless Trump tones down his rhetoric and divisiveness. 

Previously, Katko had said that Trump would have to "earn my endorsement." Speaking with Grant Reeher on WRVO'S Campbell Conversations, Katko says Trump hasn't been doing a very good job of that.

"I'm very concerned about his tone and  his rhetoric and the divisiveness of his message and I think it's the wrong thing for the country," said Katko. 

Katko represents the 24th District, which covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western part of Oswego county. He says he gave up a career as a prosecutor so he could go to Washington and stop the type of rhetoric that he says Trump is engaging in. 

"By engaging with the other side, I've done fairly well with getting bills passed and getting things done, and the last thing we need right now is a divisive, partisan bickering person at the top of the ticket," he said. 

Katko was quick to point out that this type of behavior is happening on both sides of the presidential race. 

"There's not a scenario that I can think of where I would vote for Hillary Clinton. There is none. But at the same time, I've got real concerns about Mr. Trump. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does going forward, but he's got a lot of work to do," Katko said. 

Katko is running for reelection in the 24th District, and will face either Colleen Deacon, Eric Kingson or Steve Williams in November. The three Democrats are running in a primary on June 28 to see who will face Katko in November. While Katko thinks whoever his opponent will be will likely try to link him to Trump, he doesn't think the voters will buy it. 

"I have great faith in the people of central New York," Katko said. "They're smart voters and I think people routinely think they're like lemmings and they're just going to follow whatever. They're not. statistics have routinely shown that they've elected people that aren't the same as the national ticket on the local level and I'm one of those people. And I think the voters are smart enough to see the difference between the two." 

You can hear the full interview with Katko on the Campbell Conversations, Saturday morning at 6 a.m. and again Sunday at 6 p.m. on WRVO.