Congressional candidates confident

In the race for Congressional District 5, both the Democratic incumbent and Republican candidate feel confident they will come out on top.

Democrat Congressmember Gary Ackerman was first elected to the seat in 1983. Prior to that, he also served in the Senate.

Dr. James Milano, who will appear on the Republican and Conservative party lines, has been employed at Saint Francis Hospital for the last 11 years. Milano said he decided to run this year after seeing the “mess going on right now,” citing cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

With just one week before the election, Milano expressed his confidence.

“I’m feeling good. The internal polls have it at only a one or two point difference so that’s a great feeling,” he said, adding that he thinks Ackerman is “going to fall” in the election.

However, Ackerman said he felt strong leading up to next week’s election. He said he felt good that they had done everything right in the campaign and throughout his congressional career.

“I’ve worked hard fighting for the people and their interests and we will see how that gets reported on Election Day,” Ackerman said. “We’re expecting a big win.”

Both candidates said they will be spending the remaining days before the election getting their messages out, although they are very different messages.

“The focus is to get the message out that Gary has done a very poor job representing this district with this economy and with his concerns about Israel,” Milano said, noting that he will be spending most of the time left meeting voters.

Ackerman said that the message he will be imparting on voters will be about the things he’s accomplished over the years, plans for the future and his record of successful accomplishment on behalf of constituents. He added that he’ll be shaking as many hands as he can.

If re-elected, Ackerman said the first thing he would tackle is continuing the work he has started, including improving the job market and economic climate.

Milano said that, if he elected, he wants to “repeal the health care law” and “give the senior citizens back their Social Security adjustment.”

Although attorney Elizabeth Berney lost to Milano in the Republican primary, she will still appear on the ballot on the Tax Revolt Party line.

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