ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Over the past several months, Democratic congressional candidate Rachel Barnhart says she’s knocked on 3,000 doors in New York’s 25th district.
As a former television new reporter, Barnhart often finds the people she meets are familiar with her brand of watchdog journalism.
Now she wants them to get to know her as a politician while she listens to their concerns and the issues they believe are important to the community and the country.
"I spent 20 years fighting for facts, for truth, for transparency for accountability," Barnhart said. " I've built trust with the community and I think these are skills we need in government. These are skills we need in politics."
When it comes to the big issues, like health care, gun reform and the environment, Barnhart believes the four Democratic primary candidates generally agree.She’s forging forward with some of her own priority platforms as well.
“Some issues that are my causes that I think I would really fight for in Congress include funding for public transportation, net neutrality, making sure that we have affordable high-speed internet for everyone to bridge the digital divide and create jobs, and also ethics," Barnhart said.
As the candidate meets voters, she says they often ask if she will continue the work of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, who served the district for more than three decades before passing away earlier this year. She says like Slaughter, she would be a progressive champion and accessible to constituents.
"I've had voters say to me, 'I just want another Louise' and what I say to them is 'I don't think any of us is Louise Slaughter, but what I do think I can do is carry on that legacy of integrity and advocacy and a strong voice for this district,'" Barnhart said.
Barnhart, a former state Assembly and Rochester mayoral candidate, has not held public office before, but she believes she has experience in other ways. She says she offers voters a choice during time when women across the country are joining the fray and winning primaries.
For more information on Rochester's congressional race, check out our NY-25 Voters Guide.