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Woolf in Watertown; NRCC compares Democrat to Green Party candidate

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Aaron G. Woolf, the Democratic candidate running for New York’s 21st Congressional District, will be in Watertown Tuesday for the grand opening of the Jefferson County Democratic Party office in the former Masonic Temple, 242 Washington St.

Mr. Woolf, Elizabethtown, is running against Green Party candidate Matthew J. Funiciello, Glens Falls, and Republican candidate Elise M. Stefanik, Willsboro.

On Monday, in a news released titled “Aaron Woolf’s Green Party problem,” the National Republican Campaign Committee advanced the notion that Mr. Funiciello, a bakery and cafe owner, would pull voters away from Mr. Woolf by virtue of his “very concrete and liberal positions, such as single payer healthcare.”

The NRCC criticized Mr. Woolf for being both unoriginal and irresolute in his campaign platform and for failing to offer substantive positions.

“Manhattan multimillionaire Aaron Woolf’s failure to offer much substance in his campaign has many liberals looking instead to Green Party candidate Matt Funicello. Add to that the fact that Republicans and Conservatives are united for Elise Stefanik and it equals bad news for Woolf this November,” said NRCC Spokesman Ian Prior, in an email.

It’s a curious position, considering that the NRCC had previosly characterized Mr. Woolf for being indistinguishable from the Green Party candidate.

In a statement released Thursday, the NRCC used reports about Mr. Woolf’s considerable personal fortune, most of which appears to come from his wife’s side of the family, to attack him as being out of touch with north country voters.

In that release, Mr. Prior compared Mr. Woolf to Sean Eldridge, a wealthy Democrat who is running for New York’s 19th Congressional District.

“An opportunity to run for Congress opens up and a media-shy Manhattan liberal moves upstate from his $5 million apartment in the city and will use his spouse’s multimillion dollar fortune to try and buy the election,” Mr. Prior wrote. “It’s understandable if you think I’m talking about Sean Eldridge... but I’m not. I’m talking about NY-21 Democrat Aaron Woolf (not to be confused with NY-21 Green Party candidate Matthew Funiciello).”

Mr. Eldridge is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

And on June 25, the day after the Republican primary, the NRCC released a statement promoting Ms. Stefanik’s win over Matthew A. Doheny and criticizing Mr. Woolf for not knowing the district well enough.

“Meanwhile, Aaron Woolf is still driving around the North Country trying to figure out how to get to Watertown and hoping people don’t confuse him with Green Party candidate Matt Funicello,” Mr. Prior wrote.

Mr. Prior said the NRCC view of Mr. Woolf has evolved as the field has narrowed.

“Woolf is a major party candidate, but at this point people know as much about him as they do of Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello, who has arguably done a far better job campaigning than the secretive Woolf. Making matters worse for Woolf is that Funiciello is cutting into his liberal base by staking out a clear platform whereas Woolf has offered little beyond Washington Democrat platitudes and gimmicks. Now that this is a three-way race the negative impact that will have on Woolf this fall is dramatically increased,” Mr. Prior said in an email.

— DPF

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