Jay Townsend says he has two sources of inspiration for his run at the U.S. Senate seat for New York state currently held by Chuck Schumer.
One is a strong opposition to many Schumer positions, and the second is to supply representation for the local agricultural community of upstate.
He spoke to about 30 people Aug. 19 at a meeting of the Central New York Patriots, a local group affiliated with the tea party movement, in a second-story room of the Cicero Twin Rinks Ice Skating Center.
"I think upstate is ignored," Townsend said. "I consider, even though I live in the Hudson Valley now, I live further north than any of these candidates that were nominated at the other conventions. Upstate is where my heart is. This is why I moved here."
Townsend lives on Cornwall-on-Hudson, and has been a permanent resident in New York since 1982, he said. He runs a marketing research company, but grew up on a farm in Indiana. He said he considers his years as a farm boy very formative to who he is now.
"The livelihood of that farm depended on everybody doing their part even when the weather was bad and even when it was inconvenient," Townsend said. "The livelihood of this nation we love depends on everybody doing their part and if we're ever going to lift the state of New York state off its knees it's up to us to do our part to help make that happen."
The candidate said he has visited 59 of New York's 62 counties and tries to reach out to farmers in each one. He considers the plight of some farmers dire.
"There isn't a dairy farmer that I've met that is breaking even right now," he said. "They are losing money."
He said he is also running to do something about the rest of the struggling New York economy. He blames much of the downturn on the tenure of Schumer, who he calls the most powerful Democrat in the Senate.