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Former Deferiet man eyes congressional run next year


CAPE VINCENT — Allen D. Dingman is considering doing something he’s never done before: running for Congress.

The 59-year-old Carthage area native said he is giving the idea serious thought given the 21st Congressional District seat held by Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, will be on the ballot next year.

“I think we need real people in there with enough life experience to make good, sound decisions that reflect traditional American values,” said Mr. Dingman, who identifies himself as a staunch Republican and would seek that party’s line on the ballot.

Headlines of scandals and corruption not only in New York state but across the nation are a driving force behind Mr. Dingman’s interest in running for office, he said. The ongoing inappropriate photo scandal surrounding former Rep. Anthony Weiner and the overseas business trip taken by Mr. Owens in 2011 that reportedly was funded by Taiwan lobbyists are what Mr. Dingman considers questionable actions at best.

“We need to hold these people accountable,” he said.

Mr. Dingman said Mr. Owens’s alignment on many issues with President Barack Obama, who is also a Democrat, is also a reason to mull over the idea.

“We don’t need any more people in Washington that are supporting the kinds of programs the current administration has put forth,” he said.

Among those is the Affordable Care Act, dubbed “Obamacare,” which has taken fire by opponents. Mr. Dingman, who has several family members who have served or are serving in the health care field, said he feels he has his finger on the pulse of the issue.

“It’s not going to be good for the American people; it’s not going to be good for patients, and it’s not going to be good for health care providers,” he said. “In the long run, it’s just going to cost the American taxpayer more money for less care.”

Mr. Dingman also said there needs to be an approach on military and foreign policy less in sync with President Obama, specifically with an agenda that puts border security at the top.

If he decides to seek a congressional seat, Mr. Dingman said, he would do so on a platform of being a community-minded citizen with the taxpayers’ interests at heart.

“The only qualification you have to have is a vote,” said the former Syracuse University student and Carthage Central High School graduate.

He noted his resumé, which includes having served in the Navy, Army National Guard and Army Reserves, and civilian service as a past fire chief for the Deferiet Volunteer Fire Department and deputy coordinator for the Jefferson County Incident Management Assistance Team, are among examples of leadership roles he has assumed over the years. His involvement in Junior ROTC, Boy Scouts and youth sports, among other organizations and activities, also rounds out his list of accomplishments.

Mr. Dingman resides in Cape Vincent and has a wife, Jane, and three grown sons, Lee, Christopher and Ian.

Last month, Republicans Elise M. Stefanik, a Harvard-educated businesswoman from Willsboro, and Joseph M. Gilbert, a 24-year veteran of the Army and president of the Northern New York Tea Party, announced they would seek the GOP nod to run against Mr. Owens next November.

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