JAMESTOWN – Though the primaries have been moved from June to August, the race for the NY-23 seat is still in high gear, with seven GOP members vying for the nomination.
One of those Congressional candidate’s is Richard Moon, who spoke to WNY News Now about the redistricting process and the state of his campaign.
“There was initially fourteen counties that we had part of in the district for the Democratic plan that came out of the Senate and Assembly. And now we’re down to seven counties with Erie County being a partial and six other counties along the Southern Tier. So it’s a much more neighborhood-friendly Southern Tier district,” says Moon.
Moon says though there will always be issues with district maps, he believes the maps drawn by the independent firm are fair for the area. The maps have, however, have changed his opponents.
“We were prepared to run with Claudia Tenney who would’ve been our principal opponent. Although a couple people jumped in late and I thought they’d make a run at it. Then with this redistricting, I think she’s pulled out and gone back closer to home. Now she’s five counties away as opposed to being three counties away,” explains Moon. “And Chris Jacobs who was running in the 24th is now running in this district. Orchard Park is his hometown so it’s actually in this district.”
The non-incumbent candidates must now recollect their signatures and petitions by June 10th to be on the ballot for the August primary. Moon, however, believes that once he is officially back on the ballot, he will have no trouble in the election given his primary opponent.
“Jacobs has had a political career that’s been handed to him because of his family name,” says Moon.
Meanwhile, Moon is running his campaign based on the fact that he’s a “political outsider” who plans to take a different approach than career politicians. Mainly, that would not throw taxpayer money into new programs to try to solve issues.
“I did grow up in Buffalo. I do have family in Western New York. I did work in Wellsville. I lived in Olean. I’ve raised my kids here in Chautauqua County. So out of Allegany County, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus and Erie, four out of the seven counties I’ve had residence and positions in. I really am the only representative of this district that is from this district wholeheartedly,” says Moon.
The candidate says that amongst voters, a main concern is taking back power from political manipulation. Moon says if he is elected, he will try to update transparency policies in government, despite not having working relationships with any other House members.
“It’s always about going out and getting a consensus on points. And if you start to find common points that are hard to disagree with, like transparency. How do you disagree with being transparent? And it becomes easy to build a little bit of a coalition around that,” says Moon.
If elected, Moon has promised less government involvement, a focus on entrepreneurship, defending gun laws, not allowing the defunding of the police, indoctrinating children, closing churches, and the opening of the borders.