Here’s an inside look at the candidates for the 25th district, who are running to replace the seat of the late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. The following comes from exclusive interviews with each candidate.
Joe Morelle is the democratic congressional candidate for the 25th District. He was inspired to run for Congress due to his inherent love for the people of Monroe County. His platform includes a widespread of topics that he deems important, specifically those that will help bring the community together and benefit the people of Monroe County. Morelle strongly believes in a flourishing economy, where small businesses can thrive, and job opportunities can increase for the average working individual. Morelle has a major investment in the public’s right to health services. He believes that there should be a universal healthcare for all that is affordable especially for community members who struggle with autism or opioid abuse. For the opioid epidemic specifically, Morelle truly believes in the increase of investments and expansion of addiction treatment and recovery and rehabilitation programs, given his belief that pharmaceutical companies need to take ownership for distributing opioids to the community. Given the U.S.’s current state on immigration, Morelle believes in border control, while simultaneously supporting a more accessible path to citizenship. He does not support President Donald Trump’s idea to separate immigrant families and wants undocumented children who were born in the U.S. to have rights and support. Since Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, Morelle is concerned for the rights of women even more than he was before. He feels as though women should have the right to make their own decisions on abortion and that they are entitled to receiving equal rights and opportunities. Morelle cares strongly for his people and with that comes his invested interest in protecting the environment, allowing the children of today and future generations to not have the roadblock of an inapt environment. He firmly wants the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and work toward a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050. Additionally, the current state of gun violence is inexcusable in Morelle’s eyes, as he wants to work toward gun-control through stronger background checks. He supports the Second Amendment but does not want its words to be abused and hopes background checks will work toward the larger goal of decreasing American violence. Morelle has spent three decades of his life serving the Monroe County community and wants to use his experience in Congress to accomplish the goals he feels are the most important to not only the 25th District, but for the American people as well.
Dr. Jim Maxwell is the Republican congressional candidate for the 25th district and wants to help fix divisions in Congress. Maxwell wishes to revitalize Monroe County, as New York State is the highest-taxed, most-regulated, and in his opinion the least business-friendly state. Dr. Maxwell wants to help Rochester’s economy through the expansion of its businesses and create more jobs with better wages. Dr. Maxwell strongly encourages cutting federal spending and eliminating several programs to reduce the United States’ national debt. He wants there to be someone in Congress to advocate for this notion due to it bankrupting the next generation and hurting programs in Monroe County. As a candidate for Congress, Dr. Maxwell sees public corruption through politicians who enrich themselves at the expense of people. With this observation, he wants the House of Representatives and Senate members to have term limits to end drifting from the interest of constituents. Dr. Maxwell’s top priority is to clean up this corruption in Washington. As a doctor, Maxwell wants to combat the opioid epidemic by increasing funding toward rehabilitation and treatment services while also having those addicted take responsibilities for getting help. Dr. Maxwell wants to take a medical approach to combat the opioid epidemic that affects Monroe County and the nation. Dr. Maxwell wishes to fix the current state of healthcare by implementing a patient-centered system. Doing so from Maxwell’s point of view, would facilitate the expansion of access to quality care, encourage private interactions between doctors and patients, and ultimately lower costs for the citizens of Rochester. Dr. Maxwell firmly supports the protection of the environment, in that he wants to contribute to the growth of renewable energy sources, which would provide cleaner jobs in Monroe County. Dr. Maxwell also pictures the creation of a national “green space” from the high falls of downtown Rochester to Lake Ontario where families can visit a national park with more accessibility. Maxwell mostly wants to fix Plan 2014, as he feels it allows too much water to flow into Lake Ontario which is detrimental to the South Shore. Dr. Maxwell also highly supports the rights of veterans. As a neurosurgeon, Maxwell treated many veterans and believes that their rights should be prioritized. He wants to work toward the expansion of programs that provide job training and educational benefits for veterans. Dr. Maxwell also strongly supports the Second Amendment while also recognizing the issue of gun violence, resulting in his belief of creating gun-control methods. If elected, Dr. Maxwell wishes to ensure the rights of the people of Monroe County and hopes that his ideas will benefit Congress and the nation as a whole.