Townsend campaign stops at Eagle

Republican Jay Townsend brought his campaign for United States Senate to The Eagle headquarters earlier this month to remind us of the impending election for incumbent Sen. Charles Schumer's seat.

Townsend, a political consultant from Cornwall-on-Hudson, worked for more than 50 campaigns before stepping into the ring himself this year. He has earned a spot on the Republican line, along with opponent Gary Berntsen, and the Conservative line. He also said he has received the support of -- but not the formal endorsement -- of the Tea Party.

Townsend is in favor of health insurance reform, but would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, citing the "new entitlement we can't afford" fostered by the act.

He also prefers a system of tax credits to businesses over the stimulus bill, and disagrees with the cap and tax bill.

Bringing business back to New York State, Townsend believes, is directly tied to unfunded mandates, particularly Medicaid expenses, being shouldered by county governments.

Reform Medicaid and ease the property tax burden on residents to create a pro-business climate, Townsend said.

That includes being friendly to gas companies who want to implement hydrofacking in New York.

"If it's safe, let's do it," Townsend said. "If we refuse to explore new sources of energy, where are we going to get it?"

While Townsend admits he "has some ground to make up" on the fundraising front, (he's raised $140,000 while Schumer has banked more than $23 million), he puts extensive faith in the voters and said he's inspired by stories of the underdogs like Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.

"The fun part of this is, it's unpredictable," Townsend said.

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