John Plumb

Republican Tom Reed, the former mayor of Corning, has represented first the 29th District and then the reconfigured 23rd in Congress for the past six years.

“The job,” he says, “is not done.”

We agree.

He has been appointed to some important House committees, including most recently the powerful Ways and Means Committee; was one of the sponsors of the advanced manufacturing bill; and has pushed for tax reform and solar and wind tax credits — all good things.

He also has been a strong proponent of hydrofracking, which many Finger Lakes residents oppose. And, while that issue is off the table in New York these days, he says that the current ban is not “fair to a lot of property owners” who would stand to benefit by fracking if it were allowed.

His campaign has gone to great lengths to criticize his Democratic opponent, former U.S. Navy submarine officer John Plumb for living in Washington, D.C., even going so far as to create a fake Twitter account and a website that was once called DCJohnPlumb.com.

At a time when much of America has been turned off by a contentious presidential race, we too are tired of that kind of campaigning.

Reed, by the way, was one of the first Congressmen to endorse Donald Trump, though he told our Editorial Board that Jeb Bush was his first choice. He still backs the Republican party’s nominee, primarily because of what it could mean for the U.S. Supreme Court if he were elected — although Reed admitted “there are some concerns.”

Plumb still serves in the Naval Reserves and recently was promoted to the level of captain, the third member of his family to achieve that rank. He is no outsider to our area, as Reed might have you believe. His family has lived in western New York for four generations, and he has spent time away to go to school and to serve his country — no problems there with us.

A gun owner and hunter who says those on the “no-fly” list should not be able to own a weapon, he wants improved background checks and better gun safety training. He believes the trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership is bad for jobs in the 23rd District; is totally against fracking with an eye on advancing renewable energy and tourism; and is intent on getting better Internet and cellphone coverage for all corners of the expansive district.

Plumb has served as a military advisor in Congress and as a member of the National Security Council staff with a focus on nuclear non-proliferation. He also is one of the few Congressional candidates we’ve heard in recent years who says he’d like to use his status as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives to knock on some office doors in Albany to work on issues that would specifically benefit the 23rd District. We would like to see him get the opportunity to continue the unfinished — and, frankly, never-ending — job of advocating for the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier.

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