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January 22, 2010

 

Hanna to again challenge Arcuri

Utica businessman lost close race to Democrat in 2004 election

By HOLDEN B. SLATTERY
Staff Reporter
hslattery@cortlandstandard.net

Utica businessman Richard Hanna announced Wednesday that he will challenge Rep. Michael Arcuri again for the 24th Congressional District in November, and he thinks he has a good opportunity to unseat Arcuri in a rematch of the close election two years ago.
Also running for the seat is Sgt. Logan Bell, 25, a Tompkins County resident.
Hanna will seek nominations from the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.
Hanna, 58, a Cooperstown resident and Utica native, ran for the seat as a Republican in November 2008 and lost to Arcuri (D-Utica) in a close race. Arcuri earned 52 percent of the vote, and Hanna earned 48 percent.
It was Hanna’s first run for public office.
“I think we have an opportunity to be successful,” Hanna said this morning.
Hanna said that he considers himself nonpartisan and would not vote along Republican Party lines if elected. He called Arcuri “a partisan fellow.”
Hanna said that Republican Scott Brown’s victory for Democrat Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat in Massachusetts shows that people do not feel their voices are being heard and are not satisfied with the Democratic Party, which has a majority in the House and Senate.
He said he thinks people with pre-conditions should not be denied health insurance, but does not support the House bill or the Senate bill. He would like to see less expensive types of reform, he said.
Arcuri said Thursday he thinks Brown’s victory shows that people think their representatives are “out of touch” with their constituents and are “not giving them straight answers.”
“I don’t always agree with everything my constituents want me to do, but I give them straight answers,” Arcuri said.
Arcuri supported the House of Representatives’ version of the federal health care bill, but said he would not vote for the Senate’s version. He said the bill is too large and difficult for people to understand. He added that citizens do not like the deals that were made in the Senate to influence a few senators to support the bill.
He suggested more gradual health care reform.
“This is people’s health care. They need to understand what we’re doing,” Arcuri said.
Arcuri said he expects another tough race.
“Our district is a Republican district. It is always a big challenge. It will always be a tough race,” he said.
Arcuri has not announced his candidacy yet. A spokesman for Arcuri said he wants to finish his current legislative duties before making a formal announcement.
After graduating from Reed College in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science, Hanna started a construction company, Hanna Construction. Over the next 25 years he expanded the company, completing a number of multi-million dollar commercial and municipal projects in New York.
Arcuri was first elected as the 24th Congressional District representative in November 2006 and re-elected in November 2008.
Bell — who spent four years with the Marine Corps stationed in Quantico, Va., and currently serves with the Ithaca branch of the National Guard — is running as a Conservative but is also seeking a nomination from the Republican Party.

 

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