Candidates for 116th Assembly District get creative with campaigns

WWNY Candidates for 116th Assembly District get creative with campaigns

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Running a political campaign during a pandemic means getting creative. The candidates for the 116th Assembly District are connecting with voters.

Republican Assemblyman Mark Walczyk is taking the term “political race”quite literally.

“One day I was measuring the district across and I said, 'Wow, can you believe that it’s almost 116 miles exactly in the 116th District,” he said.

So with 116 miles and 116 sponsors, he took off Wednesday morning to promote his campaign.

“This is a great opportunity to show work ethic to the people you’re running for. We call it running for office, today I’m pedaling for office,” he said.

Walczyk isn’t the only one getting creative to connect with voters.

His opponent, Democrat Alex Hammond, is running a heavily virtual campaign to be mindful of COVID-19.

“When COVID first started, we started the Fireside Chat Series,” he said. “We have phone banking every Tuesday, Thursday of the week. Overall, given everything that’s going on right now, the campaign is going very well.”

Both candidates had to put their campaigns on pause for a while. Hammond was activated by the National Guard; Walczyk was called to active duty by the Army Reserve to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I really tried to put the campaign completely aside when I was on active duty and not think about it at all and I’m gonna give Mark some credit and say he probably was thinking the same thing,” said Hammond.

Hammond says three of his main political goals are to increase communication with the state, invest in infrastructure, and keep young people in the area through reliable employment.

Walczyk’s campaign lists some of his goals as preventing reckless spending in Albany, empowering students and teachers, and protecting the north country’s environment.

Both of them getting creative to get those ideas to voters before the November election.

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