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GOP storm clouds gather as Doheny opens up

FORT EDWARD — Matt Doheny wants you to know that he’s the only candidate running to replace outgoing Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) who is truly from the North Country and has the experience necessary to address the 21st District’s needs.

In a phone interview with the Valley News, the last in our series of open-ended interviews designed for the candidates to introduce their policies to our readers, Doheny discussed what he has to offer voters across this sweeping district.

“I KNOW THESE PEOPLE”

The race marks the Watertown-based investment banker’s third attempt at capturing the seat after narrowly losing twice to Owens, who was first elected in 2009 after a bitter race that attracted national attention and acted as a bellweather for the then-burgeoning Tea Party movement.

“We fought two close races and came up very short each time,” said Doheny. “After Congressman Owens announced his retirement, we experienced an outpouring of support across all corners of the district and that really encouraged me to run again.”

Speaking excitedly after a day spent campaigning in Washington County, Doheny recalled a conversation he had with a small business owner who he said was in trouble:

“He had a situation back on the farm dealing with immigration and labor,” said Doheny. “I aim to help him, and people like him, on the ground to make life better.”

“I know these people, I’m from the district,” he said.

OVERREGULATED

In what’s become a common mantra for the two remaining Republican candidates in the race, Doheny said small businesses are strangled in a thicket of regulation by a sprawling patchwork of regulatory agencies that operate without oversight from elected representatives.

“They need authority and real oversight,” he said, citing the regulations that farmers face as an example:

“There’s the EPA, [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration] OSHA and all the issues and regulations that come to fore, like dust regulations, labor regulations, rules on spilled milk — these all have a negative impact on the industry, from the dairy farms here in Washington County to the apple orchards in Essex.”

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