The 24th Congressional District is traditionally considered the Syracuse “home” district, with its past representatives all coming from the Greater Syracuse area. The district includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties, plus the western half of Oswego County. Dana Balter earned the Democratic nod in the June 26 primary for the right to face off against two-term Republican incumbent John Katko.
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A Camillus native, John Katko left a 20-year career as a federal prosecutor to run for public office, campaigning as a “strong, independent voice for Central NY.” In Congress, Katko serves on the House Homeland Security Committee as Chair of the Transportation and Protective Security subcommittee. He also serves on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. In the 2014 election, Katko defeated incumbent Dan Maffei handily. The 2016 election yielded a similar result as Katko held off Democratic challenger Colleen Deacon. Now, the race is on the national radar, with President Trump looming over the GOP incumbent, and Democrats anxious to retake the seat.
Here is where he stands on the big issues facing the district:
Economy/jobs: Wants to reform outdated regulations to help businesses and employees prosper. Boost apprenticeship programs and cut taxes for small businesses.
Health care: Favors replacing the Affordable Care Act with other legislation. Wants to improve medical research and reduce gaps in pediatric health care.
Environment/water infrastructure: Calls for the need to address algal blooms in CNY's lakes as well as improving the quality of drinking water. Backs the "brownfield program" to cleanup toxic materials and waste.
Immigration: Calls for a change to the immigration system that keeps the economy healthy, that works for the U.S. and treats people humanely.
Dana Balter is the candidate endorsed by the local Democratic county committees during their usual nomination process. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Connecticut and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her academic work has focused on education policy, public finance and accountability in government. She is serving as a visiting assistant teaching professor at the Maxwell School, teaching courses in citizenship, policy, administration and democracy. Balter was also a community advocate.
Here is where she stands on the big issues facing the district:
Economy/jobs: Build a green economy in Central New York. Ensure people are paid a living wage. Close tax loopholes and make sure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes owed from off-shore profits.
Health care: Guarantee coverage for essential services and protect people with pre-existing conditions. Supports a "Medicare-for-all" approach.
Environment/water infrastructure: Reinstate environmental protections rolled back by Congress in recent years. Implement a carbon tax to drive down carbon emissions. Move toward 100 percent renewable energy.
Immigration: Put an end to warrantless ICE raids.