KIANTONE – Congressman Tom Reed hosted a “farewell” town hall meeting in Kiantone Tuesday night, adding to his over 200 previous meetings during his tenure.
After 12 years in Congress, the Republican representative has decided not to run for re-election, following a self-imposed term limit, and sexual misconduct allegation.
“The mission always when it came to town halls is to reinforce what we believe in. To represent people you have to listen to people, and you have to meet them where they’re at,” says Reed. “And that’s why I try to encourage my colleagues to get outside the beltway, get back home. Go to the counter, stop at the deli, stop at the gas stations. Have that conversation that people are having in their homes and make sure they feel comfortable talking to you, because you learn so much. And some of the best ideas we’ve gotten in our tenure in Congress came from these conversations from the commonsense people of the 23rd district.”
Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who has had a close working relationship with the Congressman, reflected on Reed’s leadership over the years.
“What I find particularly valuable is he’s come out and had town hall meetings when things were going well, he’s come out and had town hall meetings when things were not going well,” says Goodell. “And I’ve been at town hall meetings where people were very pleased with everything going on in Congress and I’ve been at town hall meetings where they were not. In every situation, Tom has done his best to answer the questions to provide helpful and thoughtful insights.”
Reed says the 58 member bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus is his crowning achievement, especially since the group is directly responsible for passing the Infrastructure Bill.
“I’ve always focused on the people coming after you. It’s not about you, it’s about what you can do to change the environment in a positive way and then hand it off to the next leaders that will take it. I’m confident in the leaders of the problem solvers caucus,” assures Reed.
In his remaining term, Reed hopes to push through the Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act, which would encourage new innovation in all energy sources, and reward them for being effective and clean.
Former Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Tranum thanked Reed for all his efforts during his time in office, saying he was a strong advocate for the area.
“The Congressman has been a strong advocate for business. He’s been a strong advocate for manufacturing. He’s been supportive of initiatives we’ve brought to him and asked for his support on that we felt would be good for businesses, and in particular for manufacturing for our region,” says Tranum.
Moving forward, Reed says he will stay involved in politics by recruiting strong leaders to run for election and by making sure they have the proper support.