The Watertown businessman and former Wall Street financier hosted his latest "Donuts with Doheny" on Saturday morning at the Saranac Lake Adult Center.
Doheny hopes to unseat Democratic Representative Bill Owens in this year's 23rd Congressional District election. Chris Morris reports.
Doheny was introduced by Ray Scollin, the Republican state committeeman for Franklin County and chairman of Saranac Lake’s Republican committee.
Two years ago, Scollin supported conservative Republican Doug Hoffman, an accountant from Lake Placid, who eventually dropped out of the race.
But Scollin has put that 2010 race behind him, and on Saturday, he sounded like an adamant Doheny supporter.
“I don’t know if you’ve paid much attention to congressional candidates in the past, but it’s my opinion after being in politics after a while that I’ve never seen such a hard-working congressional candidate in my lifetime,” Scollin said. “Somebody who travels the North Country, tries to understand the issues, talks to everybody who will listen; he is truly a hard-working guy. And I think when he gets elected, which he will, we’re going to have somebody who will continue to work as hard in Washington for us.”
Doheny says he’s running again because the only thing that’s changed in the last two years is Congress’s approval rating.
“Seventy percent of the country thinks we’re going in the wrong direction, that America is actually in decline,” he said, citing a poll of 1,000 likely voters taken in October 2011. “This has to stop. We have to change the leadership; we have to change the fundamental nature of how we do business in the United States.”
Doheny says his campaign will focus on taking away “tax disincentives” that hamper job growth. He’ll also talk about cutting the federal deficit and preserving a strong military.
Ron Keough, a Republican councilman for the town of Harrietstown in Franklin County, told Doheny that a lot of voters are focused on basic, ground level issues – things like gas prices.
Doheny says he’s heard that concern at nearly every campaign stop.
“And I actually have an answer: First thing I’m going to do is vote for any bill and promote any piece of legislation that will go ahead and dig a hole in the ground, drill into the ground and pull oil up here in the United States,” he said. “At the end of the day, oil and gas is a market. If you have less supply ... you’re going to have higher prices.”
Doheny faces at least one challenger for the Republican line: Kellie Greene, a conservative Republican from Sackets Harbor. Donald Hassig of Colton is running as a Green Party candidate, as well.
Doheny says he can win the election. He illustrated that point on Saturday by showing the breakdown of the 2010 vote, when he lost to Owens by just a few percentage points.
Hoffman, who dropped out of the race, still attracted about 6 percent of the vote.
In Saranac Lake, I’m Chris Morris, North Country Public Radio.