Legislator Opposes “Constitutional Sanctuary” Against State Mandates

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JAMESTOWN – The legislator for Chautauqua County’s 11th District in Jamestown is opposed to creating a “constitutional sanctuary” as a safe haven from New York State’s public health mandates.

Incumbent Democrat Robert Whitney is running against Republican challenger Dave Wilfong this fall.

Whitney spoke with WNY News Now as part of an ongoing series to highlight those running for office.

He addressed a recent push to create a “constitutional sanctuary” in the county, saying that the mandate is a state issued order and that in his opinion it works.

“They were complaining about mask wearing, and the science shows that masks work, and they were complaining about the vaccine, the funny part of the whole thing was we had a proclamation that night to make October 24 “World Polio Day,” and then they sat there and talked about how bad vaccines were,” said Whitney. “So, I stood up and asked the question, whatever happened to Polio? Oh right, the vaccine. I sat down and got booed.”

Whitney says as a Democrat, he is in the best position to serve those in Jamestown working alongside the Mayor Eddie Sundquist to advocate for the municipality at a county level.

“The Democrats have the numbers, but the Democrats don’t turn out, that’s the sad part,” said Whitney. “Districtwide, we are looking at about 20 percent of people are going to vote, that’s a sad thing.”

That’s why Whitney is pushing this year to have residents take advantage of early voting which gets underway this weekend. He is reminding everyone the importance of the local level of government, specifically that it has a direct impact on day-to-day life.

Wilfong previously held the district until he ran for Jamestown Mayor in 2019 when he was unable to run for both seats.


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