Mario Fratto, a lawyer and businessman from Ontario County who is considered a small conservative, is running for the Republican line in the elections to the newly created 24th Congressional District in New York. He is attempting a primary challenge to Republican presumed favorite Chris Jacobs, the 27th district official from Orchard Park.
The new rural 24th district of Congress is huge geographically. It runs from Lewiston east along Lake Ontario, south around Rochester and then north to the US-Canadian border and ends near Watertown.
Earlier this week, Fratto campaigned in Newfan and pledged to return to the area each week to speak to voters in Niagara County. The day after his performance at the Second Change For Ever (SAFE) meeting in the Newfane Community Center, he met with Union-Sun & Journal reporter Ben Joe to talk about his background and his campaign. Here is a partial transcript of his conversation with Joe.
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Q: Where did you grow up and how did it affect your values?
A: I grew up in Geneva, Ontario. It is a small town and a city. … The small town of the USA is a place where the American dream still exists. You work hard. You’re doing the right thing. Take care of your friends and family and things should work for you. I think every American wants it. … You won’t get anything for nothing.
Q: What do you think of your opponent, Chris Jacobs?
A: I will talk about his record as a congressman. … Chris Jacobs was a Democrat. He registered as a Democrat in the 1990s … I think when one of the 11 Republicans votes to be removed from the office of another Republican, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, you are not really part of the majority. . 85 to 90 percent of Republicans would not do such a thing.
Question: How do you deal with this expanded district?
A: It’s challenging and it’s definitely an advantage for someone like Chis Jacobs, who has basically unlimited funds. … But in fact, I prefer the basics. … I mean, it’s easy when you have money, you place an ad and you put it on the radio or television. But when you need to do the hard work and go out and meet the voters to find out what their concerns are, it’s a different ball game. … It’s more challenging because of the size of the district. No question. But I think it’s something that’s absolutely necessary.
Q: Tell me about your online channels.
A: During the first blockades in March 2020, I worked at home … I felt I needed to be more productive. … So I set up a Facebook page called “Making the Case.” … Then I became pretty censored. … I had a video about Dr. Fauci (about his opposition to) hydroxychloroquine … but (Fauci) was for Remdesivir and I posted a short video … about this study and related conflicts and this video had 35,000 views. …. (Then) my average views (decreased). … Everything was better than any channel I could find in terms of how good the numbers were, but I didn’t get any views. So I was frustrated. … I went through my friends and family and said, ‘What if I ran?’ … This is the only way to really get that message out, because they can’t silence me if I tell people right.
Question: Explain your view of the economy.
A: I believe in lower taxes, less regulation, a free market economy, and I also believe that you must have healthy money, and you cannot have that when you have a printing press that is running at the speed of light right now and devaluing the dollar. … So I think we have to put it back. … (Here too) our dependence on China has been significantly reduced. This would help us return production and product production here. … We would help fellow Americans by creating jobs, but also by providing better products that are available locally. There is a supply chain problem and it is difficult when you have to import things … but if they have already been in place in the United States, I think we can believe that we can move these goods as well.
Question: Explain your view of the environment.
A: I think it’s important to have a clean environment, but … it can’t hurt the people who are here now. Everyone wants to preserve and protect the planet for the next generation … but what will we leave them if we do not ensure that we have the energy we have now, so that we have businesses that we need to give them opportunities? … (Also) we cannot have countries like China or other competitors that do not follow any of these rules that we want to introduce for ourselves. We want to talk about reducing the carbon footprint and using renewable energies, but they do not do it all over the world. … We cannot switch to wind and solar energy if it is too expensive and not so efficient.
Question: Explain your view of the war, specifically the wars in Ukraine and Afghanistan and the subsequent refugees.
A: I don’t think these world wars should be our responsibility unless there is a direct US interest. …. We don’t want a no-fly zone that would eventually get us into war. I don’t think anyone wants that. And Afghanistan … we shouldn’t have left Americans on the ground. We should not have left the people who helped us on the ground. It should have been handled much better. But I also do not think it is our duty to receive all these refugees. It is great that Poland is accepting these refugees, but I do not think that Poland has the homelessness problems we have … (a) the opiate crisis that is afflicting this country. So how can we take care of those people when we can’t get our senior citizens or veterans addicted to drugs and alcohol sleeping on the street? … What business do we have when we import more people who need help if we can’t help ourselves?
Q: What does your candidacy for the district mean?
A: This means that there is someone in this race who is an ordinary American who understands the working class, he is a working class person who understands their needs and values, and this is an opportunity to send someone to DC who is actually a conservative. who is actually going to fight for the people.