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Katko comes out swinging

— “I’m a fiscal conservative,” Katko said. “That doesn’t make me a demon. That doesn’t make me some kind of nut. That kind of labelling — as my opponent is doing to me — allows him to hide from the real issues.”

Katko called for a series of debates and accused Maffei of dodging him.

Last month, however, Maffei’s campaign accepted a debate challenge from Katko, according to The Post-Standard. While Maffei reportedly agreed to a series of moderated, televised debates, specific details are yet to be negotiated.

Meanwhile, Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chairman Mark English has publicly linked Katko to national Tea Party Republicans who espouse a mix of libertarian, conservative and populist proposals such as reducing taxes and spending.

Katko may share some Tea Party values, such as lower taxes, shrinking big government bureaucracies and entitlement programs and opposing deficit spending and borrowing from foreign banks, but he doesn’t see such positions as extreme.

“Just listen to me,” he said, “and you’ll know I’m not a radical.”

Along with the Republican line, Katko’s name will also appear on the Conservative and Independence lines in November. Maffei is running on both the Democratic and Working Families party lines.

Now serving his second non-consecutive term in the House of Representatives, Maffei, 45, said he has focused on increasing access to affordable healthcare and on bringing jobs to this area through investment in infrastructure.

If Katko unseats Maffei in November, he’d likely join a GOP majority in Congress. Democrats now control the executive branch and the Senate, but House Republicans presently outnumber Democrats 240 to 191.

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