Fratto is a name that many Genevans know.
This may be through the family business, Geneva Granite or its related businesses, or for local boxing legend Rocky Fratto.
But for Mario Fratto, Rocky’s son, name recognition is just one of the challenges he faces ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary in the reconfigured and heavily red-leaning 24th congressional district.
He faces Claudia Tenney, a sitting congresswoman with a $2 million campaign war chest and the endorsement of the man Fratto often expresses his admiration for, former President Donald Trump.
Tenney, who currently represents the 22nd district, which includes the Utica area where she lived, is now a resident of Canandaigua, which some might see as a show of her confidence to prevail over Fratto and the Democrat in the race. , Steven Holden, in November. .
Fratto sees Tenney as a kind of porter. Tenney originally planned to run in an earlier reconfiguration of the 23rd district after his home district, the 22nd, was remodeled Democratic-leaning with the inclusion of Onondaga County, which was once part of the 24th.
Tenney’s campaign recently touted an internal poll that showed her with a big lead among likely voters, but Fratto believes that poll reflects a snapshot in time that doesn’t reflect where her grassroots campaign is today.
Ahead of Tuesday’s primary, Finger Lakes Time asked each of the candidates the same questions. We didn’t send them to Republican George Phillips. He is also on the Republican primary ballot but is not actively campaigning.
Question: Why should Republican voters choose you on August 23?
Frotto: I am not a politician. I’m the only candidate from this district, working here and raising a family here. I am a true conservative and will vote that way, unlike my opponent who has a conservative F rating and a worse voting record than Liz Cheney. I will fight for traditional values, a secure border and to end our dependence on China.
tena: I am a tenacious fighter and a principled conservative who has always stood for the status quo to defend small communities in New York. I have the full endorsement of President Donald Trump, with whom I voted 97% of the time in Congress, the highest rating of any member in New York. Unlike my opponents, who even claimed to be “far left on social issues”, I am battle-tested and proven by courageously fighting to defend our values, protect pro pregnancy centers -life, protect our Second Amendment, support our veterans, and strengthen our farming community.
Q: Energy prices are top of mind for many Americans. What should Congress and the President do to help alleviate the crisis?
Frotto: They should drill more and open more pipelines. We have 300 to 400 years of coal in the country and instead of using it, we buy solar panels and electric car batteries from China that are made in coal-fired factories. Instead of helping cut costs for Americans, they are pushing “green power” to help China get richer.
tena: The far-left radical green energy agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Kathy Hochul is crushing our prosperity and hurting small businesses and family farms. We must turn the script on their progressive policies to unleash the production of safe, clean, and affordable American energy. That’s why, in Congress, I led the fight to overturn Biden’s order banning the leasing of oil and gas on federal lands as well as his irresponsible decision to shut down the Keystone pipeline.
Q: With that, what steps should Congress take to fight inflation?
Frotto: Stop printing money for things we don’t need. If we take in $4 trillion in tax revenue, we shouldn’t be spending $5 trillion. We cannot afford to send $53 billion to Ukraine when we have $30 trillion in debt and pay $6 a gallon for gas. We can also eliminate unconstitutional ministries like the Ministry of Education. Jimmy Carter founded it in 1979 and our schools have gone downhill ever since.
tena: Washington’s reckless spending is fueling inflation. It’s the worst impulse of career politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden to think they can solve a problem by throwing money at it, and that’s exactly what they continue to do. I’m a tax conservative who puts New York taxpayers first, which is why I’ve been endorsed by the NFIB, the nation’s leading small business advocacy group. I resisted Biden’s far-left spending sprees and will continue to fight to reign in Washington’s obsession with reckless spending and unleash our abundant reserves of household energy.
Q: The Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions to reduce drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Republicans generally opposed the legislation. What would you do to deal with the high costs of prescription drugs, including insulin?
Frotto: We need to crack down on Big Pharma lobbying. Most politicians on both sides are bought and paid and that’s why we never see real change. The government does not negotiate enough with drug prices and manufacturers know they can have their say. High drug costs are also a major reason why health insurance has become so expensive. We need to start making more prescription drugs here, not in China, so we can have more control over supply as well.
tena: The so-called Inflation Reduction Act is an example of career politicians in Washington once again throwing money at an issue to advance a destructive far-left agenda. Even Joe Biden admitted he didn’t know what was in the bill. I strive to find solutions to significantly reduce prescription drug costs for seniors and families, which is why I have been endorsed by the American Association for Senior Citizens.
Q: What is your position on the military legislation on fire pits?
Frotto: It shouldn’t be a political issue. If service members have been injured, they should be compensated and it shouldn’t be politicized or stuck in a bill with hog-spending and unrelated legislation. Unfortunately, veterans and the elderly are constantly put on the back burner while we send money overseas to countries that hate us and import refugees. We must take care of our fellow citizens before sending their taxes elsewhere.
tena: My son Trey is a captain in the United States Marine Corps. Caring for our nation’s veterans has always been deeply personal to me. Earlier this year, I voted to pass the Burning Stoves Veterans Health Care Act, which would have provided immediate care to our veterans suffering from exposure to toxic substances. . Unfortunately, that effort was defeated by Democrats, who instead proposed legislation that used an accounting trick to shift spending from discretionary to mandatory, a technicality that could potentially open the door to even more reckless spending by governments. Democrats in Congress on unrelated issues. do with veterans. I will continue to work to fix this law and will always fight to provide the best care, resources and support to our veterans.
Q: RINO is a word that came up in this race. What is your idea of what it means to be a Republican these days?
Frotto: A Republican means fighting for traditional values, less spending, less taxes, securing the border, protecting life, protecting the Second Amendment, and putting America first. My opponent Claudia Tenney is the epitome of a RINO because she supported, taxpayer funded sex changes, amnesty for illegal immigrants, funding planned parenthood, red flag laws to take guns and sending our taxes overseas. That’s why she’s ranked 186th out of 208 House Republicans.
tena: Today, we need Republicans in Washington who will put America first and fight tirelessly to defend our conservative values and our Constitution. I’m the only candidate in this race with a strong and proven record of conservative leadership, which is why I’ve been endorsed by President Donald Trump and the New York State Conservative Party in every race I’ve run. ran. In Congress, I supported President Trump more than any other Republican in New York and the Northeast, voting with his political positions 97% of the time. I will always stand up against the status quo in both parties to represent the people of my district. »
Q: Do you have anything else to say about your candidacy?
Frotto: This is our chance to elect someone from Finger Lakes, in a majority Finger Lakes district. We have never had a local representative before and we deserve it. I will fight for you and your family, just like mine, and I will never sell myself. I want to go to Washington to let them know that upstate New York matters and that we are not going to sit idly by while they destroy our culture, our traditions and our country. Send a message on Tuesday, August 23! Thanks!
tena: I would like to thank the hundreds of local volunteers from New York’s new 24th congressional district who enthusiastically joined our campaign. I am honored to have their support and endorsements from national leaders like President Trump and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, pro-life groups like Susan B. Anthony List and National Right to Life, and enforcement groups of the law as the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department. GOP chairmen of Wayne, Oswego, Livingston, Yates, Orleans and Wyoming counties supported our campaign along with Conservative chairmen of Wayne, Cayuga, Jefferson and Oswego counties. Thank you also to Oswego County Sheriff Don Hilton and the many New York elected officials who supported our campaign, including Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt and Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay. This is truly a grassroots campaign fueled by enthusiastic voters in every community.