The Daily News

OCTOBER 6, 2016

LE ROY — Before the vice presidential debate hit the air, Genesee County Democrats hosted an open house in Le Roy Tuesday night.

Grace Hanlon, who is running for state Supreme Court, and Diana Kastenbaum, who is running for Congress, were there to talk to voters.

Chairman Michael Plitt of the Democratic Party of Genesee County said the party feels “fantastic” about the local races.

“(The biggest hurdle we have to face) is being Democrats,” he said. “It’s just a very Republican county. People have been Republican for years, but honestly I think the biggest hurdle is that everyone knows about the presidential race. I think that sucks all the air out of the room, so people don’t know who is running for state senate or United States Congress. There are other races besides the presidential race.”

When asked about how he feels about the presidential race, Plitt said he believes Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is a strong candidate who is currently doing well in the polls.

“We’ll see how the other debate goes, but anything can happen,” he said.

Both Plitt and Democratic Genesee County Election Commissioner Lorie Longhany noted the current climate surrounding the presidential elections was “disappointing” and “surreal.”

“I think it discourages people from getting involved politically with all the animosity in the presidential race,” Plitt said. “We are trying to encourage more people to get involved. Then they say all the name calling and that kind of stuff in the presidential race ... starts getting people not wanting to get involved.”

Longhany said she found it fascinating how the Republican nominee could say things which would have ended the political aspirations of any other candidate, from mocking John McCain for being captured by the enemy to making fun of a disabled reporter.

“The things he says about women — each and every time he says something that I’m (dropping my mouth open), it doesn’t seem to affect him,” she said. “You can see there is a big swath of voters who are very unhappy, and I think that may be where this is coming from.”

Local races are important, both agree, because voters can have more of a say in what is going on.

“These are the people who have the most influence on your everyday life,” Longhany said. “They are the people if you go to your town board meeting and talk to them about getting a water district or getting a lighting district in a community ... these are the things that affect people’s lives a lot more than anything that could ever happen on a national level.”

Due to New York’s election laws, voters need to register by Oct. 14 in order to participate in the November election.

Genesee County Democrats host open house in Le Roy (link)