Editor’s Note: The following is an opinion column written by James Drader, Chair of the Tompkins County Republican Party.
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— Jeff Stein
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Written by James Drader:
The returns from the election of 2014 paint a clear picture of a Republican wave election resulting in Republican control of the U.S. Senate with at least 53 seats, historic levels of seats in, and control of, the House, control of more state legislatures and state legislative seats than at any time since 1860, holding nearly two-thirds of state governorships, and the election of an array of Republican governors, including victories in “blue states” such as Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and Massachusetts.
Republicans have regained full control of the New York State Senate. Governor Cuomo’s popularity has plummeted and Rob Astorino did well upstate, carrying 46 out of 62 counties in New York.
Tom Reed’s landslide victory for the House was an overwhelming vote of confidence, a mandate for his policies, and it showed how closely matched Reed’s views are to those of the majority of residents of the overall western southern tier. Robertson’s vote in Tompkins fell by over a thousand below the margin won in Tompkins by the previous Democrat candidate and was down about 12%. Reed took 63% of the vote in the entire 23rd district, including Tompkins. In the district excluding Tompkins, Reed won a landslide, taking two out of every three votes.
The political complexion of the City of Ithaca makes Tompkins a difficult place for Republicans to win. Robertson’s margin in the City and in the County while losing every other county in the district, verifies that Reed’s statement that Robertson is an extreme Ithaca area liberal reflective of a small area of the district is true. The variation in the vote between Ithaca and the rest of the 23rd District serves to demonstrate how a local “pocket majority” can exercise political power in a small area where people share a non-mainstream agenda but cannot extend that power or impose that agenda outside that small concentrated area.
The 2014 election results offer the Republican Party the opportunity to pass and send to the President a positive policy rooted in smaller government that does not over regulate, promotes individual freedom including in health care choices, a return to enforcing the laws (not making or modifying them in the executive branch), promoting energy independence, reforming taxes, a strong national defense, and growing jobs and economic development. If the President vetoes or blocks legislation with the veto pen, he will be ignoring the message the American people just sent loud and clear this election day.
We know the trust of Americans must be earned and that this election was not a ringing endorsement of the Republican “brand.” What the public wants is open transparent scandal free government which actually listens to people and which is not constantly looking for new ways to regulate our lives but facilitates jobs and keeps us safe.
James Drader, Chairman
Tompkins County Republican Party
Town of Newfield