OWEGO, NY – The Democratic Party finally has a candidate for the NY-23rd district race as Owego resident Max Della Pia throws his hat into the ring.
In an interview with WNY News Now, the candidate explained why he is running for the competitive seat.
Della Pia says he runs his life based on one of his dad’s sayings, “service is what gives life purpose.” The candidate spent over thirty years in the Air Force and believes running for Congress is a continuation of his life of service.
“I feel like our system of government is at risk. Democracy is at risk. I think if we can’t depend on a peaceful transition of power, we’re not the beacon on the hill we wanna be. We’re actually more like a banana republic and that’s not where I wanna be. That’s not why I spent thirty years defending our democracy and our constitution,” says Della Pia
The Democrat says Republican candidate Claudia Tenney cannot properly represent this district, as she does not live in it or understand its needs. Tenney currently represents NY-22, but is running for NY-23 due to redistricting.
Though this is not Della Pia’s first time running for office, he believes his party’s endorsement and his four years of experience as Democratic Committee Chair for Tioga County will improve his odds.
Della Pia assures residents that he will be a voice for all people, not just his own party, as he believes some local politicians have done.
“The infrastructure bill is something that is often, in historic context, there are things that everyone needs. So they work together and they come up with something that’s gonna make sense. The person I’m running against, she voted against it,” says Della Pia. “And I don’t know if you noticed the political, there’s actually a quote, she was trying to get credit for working so hard. Yet I think it was four projects in that bill, and then she didn’t vote for it.”
Among the candidates’ priorities if elected is providing quality jobs by way of the Infrastructure Bill, and supporting small businesses. Della Pia believes these two things are related, as services like high-speed internet will provide better access for these businesses.
“The ARPA funding for Jamestown. We need housing stability and we need to revitalize our neighborhoods. There’s economic and workforce development. There’s resident health and wellbeing, both mental health and physical health. And those things about health that people from perhaps the other side say, let’s just everybody pay for their own and whatever. It’s really not working for the United States” explains Della Pia.
Along with healthcare, Della Pia believes creating proper incentive to keep residents in the area is crucial for the long term well being of the district. He says creating cooperation between school and work training programs could help decrease the labor shortage and increase the retention of population.
The candidate also spoke of the war on Ukraine, saying that until the European Union severs ties with Russia, the inflation on gas prices will continue to skyrocket. Additionally, he believes that giving total control to the Executive Branch for authorization of force is non-Democratic, and allows legislators to slide by without having to stand up for their own beliefs.
Our full interview with the candidate is posted on our YouTube page and Channel 716 on Roku.