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GOP Congressional hopeful Matthew Doheny vists Lisbon farmers

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LISBON – Congressional Republican candidate Matthew A. Doheny of Watertown traveled Wednesday to Flack Farms, 63 Flack Road, and discussed a range of topics with from corn, milk, and the national debt with farmers.

While touring the farm’s cow barns and milk factories, Mr. Doheny, who is running against U.S. Rep William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, talked with several St. Lawrence County farmers about the current federal farm bill that is set to expire.

“The main concern for the fluctuating milk prices,” Flack Farms co-owner Timothy R. Flack said. “That will drive our business down.”

Mr. Doheny said he supports the farm bill and would not want to see it expire.

“This is what it is about,” said Mr. Doheny. “Agriculture is the main business here in St. Lawrence County — this here is it. It will greatly affect them.”

The farmers and Mr. Doheny talked about several other issues such as eliminating subsidies for non-function forms of renewable energy and ethanol and lowering gas prices. The Flack brothers said they appreciated his visit.

“He had a lot of the same ideas I had,” Flack Farms Co-owner Douglas E. Flack said. “Having him here, you get an idea of what they’re like.”

Mr. Doheny says familiarizing himself with the people and local government officials and visiting 194 communities in New York’s 21st Congressional District, is a part of his campaign promise to be accessible. Mr. Doheny told voters he would have an office in St. Lawrence County to allow people to speak with him directly. Earlier in the day, Mr. Doheny visited at the Senior Health Care Fair in Ogdensburg then to the Ogdensburg Knights of Columbus for lunch.

“It’s a wonderful thing for him to see how things here actually happen,” said Lisbon Town Supervisor James Armstrong.

Later in the day, Mr. Doheny held a town hall meeting and talked with several community members, including Massena Mayor James F. Hidy and Ogdensburg Mayor William D. Nelson.

The main concern among voters throughout the meeting seemed to be the lack of jobs and a staggering unemployment rate. St. Lawrence County’s unemployment rate stands at 10.8 percent, and is third highest county in the state, Mr. Doheny said.

Mr. Armstrong said the work ethic is so strong, but many people, like his daughter, have moved out of state to find work.

“You have to provide the opportunities so that people can flourish right here at home,” said Mr. Doheny. “The unemployment right now is shameful and that is the main thing I am going to be working toward.”

Mr. Doheny has said he will consider himself a “Salesman-in-Chief,” and will work towards promoting the north country and building jobs in the area.

“The most important manufacturing in the north country is what you guys do here — farming,” said Mr. Doheny.

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