Katko kicks off campaign tour at Post 188

— Maffei has more money

Katko’s ready to hear what specific issues impact voters’ day-to-day lives. “On this listening tour, I’ll introduce myself to the community and hear directly from the residents,” he said. “The best way to understand and represent the personal concerns of Central New York in Congress is to have an open conversation with the people who live here.”

The challenger’s campaign will soon announce locations and dates of the other public meetings he plans in the district. The 24th District covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western half of Oswego County.

Katko, 51, is a former federal prosecutor in Syracuse making his first run for public office. He has the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines on the ballot.

Maffei, D-Syracuse, is seeking his third term in Congress. He will appear on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines on the November ballot.

Mid-term vulnerability?

Maffei has run for Congress four times, winning during presidential election years 2008 and 2012 but losing in midterm elections 2006 and 2010. He failed to unseat incumbent Republican Congressman Jim Walsh in ’06 before soundly beating Dale Sweetland in 2008. Maffei was narrowly defeated by Anne Marie Buerkle in 2010 before reclaiming his seat from her in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee paints Katko as a right-wing ideologue willing to carry the Tea Party agenda in the November election. The challenger and his wife, Robin, are raising three sons in Camillus.

Jumpin’ Jazz Jam

The 17th annual Jumpin’ Jazz Jam is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, at Liverpool High School Auditorium, 4338 Wetzel Road, in the town of Clay. The concert will feature the LHS Stage Band conducted by Steve Salem and the LHS Jazz Ensemble directed by Jim Dumas. Headliners will be the famed singing group, the New York Voices; $10/students/seniors, $12/adults; 453-1500.

Johnson Park concerts

By the way, the Liverpool is The Place Summer Concert series in Johnson Park starts up with performances by Liverpool Central Schools’ student bands at 7 p.m. Monday, June 2, and the Pale Green Stars playing honky-tonkin’ rock and roll on Wednesday, June 4.

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