Press-Republican

February 2, 2012

Republican woman enters race for Congress

— Kellie Greene seeks seat in Congress, touts herself as conservative

JOE LoTEMPLIO
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — Kellie Greene, a self-described conservative Republican from Sackets Harbor, has entered the race for the 23rd Congressional District seat.

"I am just sick and tired of the same old, same old, same old situation," she told the Press-Republican.

"It's not just a Bill Owens (incumbent) issue. I am tired of yelling at my television, and I am frustrated with a do-nothing Congress.

"I don't feel that they are there for the right reasons. They are supposed to be there for the people. It's about representing the people, and they are just spending money like water, and it just doesn't work."

PRIMARY

Greene will be seeking the Republican Party nod to take on incumbent Owens (D-Plattsburgh) in the November election. She will face off against Republican Matt Doheny, and possibly others, in a Republican primary on June 26.

She officially kicked off her campaign with an event in Watertown Wednesday night.

OSWEGO NATIVE

A native of Oswego, Greene, 44, moved back to the district last year after spending the last eight years in Arizona working in the global trade and logistics field and in real estate.

She has an associate's degree from Bay Path College in business administration, a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in logistics management and a master's in business administration from Rochester Institute of Technology in international business.

She is completing a Master of Arts in theology at Fuller Seminary School, expecting to graduate in June.

Greene, who is single, said she believes firmly in the U.S. Constitution and is a fiscal and social conservative.

She favors fewer regulations on business, reducing the size and scope of government, ensuring a strong military and a foreign policy that supports Israel.

She is pro-life and against gay marriage.

Greene said Congress has been inept in solving the nation's problems, mainly because of partisan politics.

"We have many serious issues, and not addressing them is not an option. Maybe it's time for an average American to get in there."

SPLITTING VOTES

Doheny, 41, of Watertown ran against Owens in 2010 and lost in a close race. Conservative Party candidate Douglas Hoffman of Saranac Lake was also on the ballot. Although Hoffman did not actively campaign, he wound up taking vital votes from Doheny, which helped Owens to victory.

Owens, 63, was first elected in a special election in 2009, when he barely beat Hoffman, who ran on the Conservative Party line. Republican Deirdre "Dede" Scozzafava dropped out of the race three days before the election as her poll numbers sagged. She gave her support to Owens.

Both Greene and Doheny are seeking the Conservative Party endorsement this year, as well as the Republican nod.

Greene said she hopes to avoid a split amongst Republican and Conservative voters in order to defeat Owens, who was the first Democrat elected in the district since the Civil War era.

"I don't believe that this district has gone from red to blue," she said, referring to Republican red. "I think this district is still decidedly red."

BIG DISTRICT

The 23rd District covers 11 counties from Lake Ontario in the west to Lake Champlain in the east. It is the fifth-largest district geographically east of the Mississippi River.

Because of redistricting, New York will lose two congressional seats in this year's elections. Each of the 27 districts in the state must grow by about 53,000 people. A state legislative committee is preparing new district lines.

CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

Greene said she will cover ground campaigning on the issues.

"For me, it's about the constitutional issues that we've strayed from, and the out-of-control spending.

"The proof is in the pudding, and Congress as a whole has failed."

Greene said she decided to return to the North Country to run because it is her home.

"I could have run in Arizona, but Arizona is not a place I want to call home. This is," she said.

"In the end, I think the people of the 23rd District just want someone who will represent them well."

OPPONENTS

Doheny's spokesman, Jude Seymour, said Doheny did not have a comment on Greene's campaign.

Owens's spokesman, Sean Magers, issued a statement in response to Greene's announcement: "Congressman Owens appreciates that so many constituents are involved in the political process, and he looks forward to a civil and healthy discussion on the issues that will move the region forward and ultimately put New Yorkers back to work."

Email Joe LoTemplio at: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com