The 23rd Congressional District will once again be represented by a familiar face. Congressman Tom Reed won his re-election Tuesday, defeating Democrat Tracy Mitrano.
Throughout the campaign, the issue of health care was almost always at the forefront of the debate. Mitrano supported gradually implementing "Medicare for All," while Reed is in favor of creating what he calls a "Transparent Marketplace."
"What we have to do is align the interests in the healthcare marketplace so that you start rewarding and incentivizing good quality care that will drive costs down,” said Reed.
Another issue that had the candidates at odds was battling the opioid epidemic. Mitrano advocated for safe injection sites, while Reed wants to increase funding for rehab and treatment.
"What we need to do is recognize when you have addiction, we need to get you the treatment that can get you out of that addiction and get you back on your own two feet but we also have to have other resources put forward. Prevention, education, make sure law enforcement is part of this equation too,” said Reed.
On the issue of jobs, Reed hopes to develop a stronger workforce to fill the thousands of vacancies in the district.
"What we have to do is make sure those folks have the skills to plug into those jobs and together, that's how folks excel, when they have the dignity of work, the honor of work,” he said.
The 23rd District is the southwestern part of the state — it extends east from Chautauqua County, hugging the Pennsylvania/New York border. In all, it covers parts of 11 counties.
Reed was first elected to Congress in 2010.