2011-11-09 / Front Page

Dutchess Mayor Takes on Hayworth for 2012

Matt Alexander Vows to Challenge Republican Freshman

Today Matt Alexander, the Mayor of Wappingers Falls, announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in New York's 19th District, the seat currently occupied by freshman Congresswoman Dr. Nan Hayworth.

Hayworth, a Republican from northern Westchester, soundly defeated Democratic incumbent John Hall in the 2010 midterm election.

The PCN&R received this press release this morning:

Mayor of Wappingers Falls, Matt Alexander Declares
Candidacy for the United States Congress

 Dutchess County, NY - November 10, 2011 Today Matt Alexander the three term Mayor of Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County, New York announced his bid for the United States Congress. Below is the text of the email announcement:
‘In 2008 Democrats voted for change, in 2010 Republicans took control of the United States House of Representatives frustrated with Washington - what we’ve witnessed these past years is a broken system. My name is Matt Alexander I wanted to take a minute and introduce myself, I am the Mayor of Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County. 6 years ago, I got off the sidelines and ran for Mayor; I am so glad I did. After working tirelessly for Wappingers Falls we have a 17% growth rate, new businesses and jobs arriving, and crime is down; our infrastructure is strong and our residents hopeful. Today, with much enthusiasm, I announce my campaign for the United States Congress.
Sure, launching a campaign requires filing papers, building a website, setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts but more than anything, it requires gaining your support. We in New York’s 19th Congressional District deserve a representative in Washington that will support us, that will invest in us and that will work to make sure that all of our residents thrive. Now it’s YOUR turn to get off the sidelines, YOUR turn to make a difference by supporting me and my candidacy.
In the coming days I will be speaking throughout the district about the issues that are most important to me, if you weren’t at my kick-off speech, find it below. Over the next couple of months I want to talk about what’s important in our community and country, what we think we are doing right and what we could do better, together we are going to build our future.’
Following the announcement, Alexander commented, “Serving as Mayor of Wappingers Falls has been the greatest privilege, through hard work, investment in the town’s residents and infrastructure what was once crumbing is now being rebuilt. Six years ago I ran for office to turn my town around, I want to bring those same successes to all of the people of the 19th Congressional District as their representative in Washington.”
My name is Matt Alexander. You may not have heard of me, I am the Mayor of Wappingers Falls but that’s not why I want you to remember me. I want you to remember me as YOUR next Congressman.
For the past 6 years, I’ve had the great fortune of serving as Mayor of Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County.  Wappingers Falls is my community, my home, and I truly love working for its residents – its businesses, both large and small and to improve one small corner of New York. By the time I was elected Mayor, many were leaving Wappingers Falls, businesses were shuttered, infrastructure crumbling and residents losing faith. 
My background wasn’t in politics; I was a businessman. I’m a CPA by training, and I in fact owned a small business on Main Street for 8 years before entering government.
Working on Main Street, and looking out my window every day at a community that was growing more and more depressed, year after year, while nothing gets done—it gets to you; it stares you in your face, and it wears you down. It got to me, it stared me in the face, and it wore me down. And then came a day when I said to myself: Enough.
Enough with the shuttered businesses, rising crime and the diminished hopes of my neighbors. Enough with the failed leaders who stood idly by and allowed this happen.
I made the decision to get off the sidelines and DO something. I ran for Mayor, through hard work and a little luck, I won. I knew the difficulties of an election, but the real difficulties lay ahead—just like they do now.
The village I inherited was in decline: Wappingers Falls was suffering from economic stagnation; neglect by its elected officials; rising poverty and gang violence; our roads, sidewalks and sewers were literally crumbling beneath our feet. Wappingers Falls was run in to the ground by its Republican mayor—and it was a distant vision of its once thriving past.
Sound familiar?
Today, through my leadership, I’m proud to say Wappingers Falls is one of the fastest-growing communities in our state with an astonishing 17% growth rate in the past year alone. New businesses and jobs are arriving, crime is down and our services and infrastructure are strong, AND we’ve held the line on property taxes.
This turn-around took determined leadership, an unwavering focus on economic development and jobs. It was the commitment of government to act in times of difficulty and put people to work rebuilding the infrastructure that was critical to our economic success.
 It took getting people from both parties to stop playing games and to put people above politics and start working together. It took the faith of the men and women in government as our partners working to turn our community around. A community came together to recapture its future.
This approach not only revived our community, but twice earned me the endorsements of the Democratic and Republican parties.
This same formula that worked for Wappingers Falls is what I intend to bring to Congress. I got into government to take on big challenges because I was sick and tired of being on the sidelines. My leadership turned Wappinger Falls around and with your support I’d like to do the same here throughout New York’s 19th Congressional District.
I think people across this district and across this country are looking out at their main streets, and seeing the same things I did those many years ago—only worse:
Persistent joblessness; sinking home values; falling incomes; job insecurity; foreclosures… Decline. And a dysfunctional Washington, with our current leaders who refuse to do a damn thing about it.
I’m not the only one who reached his breaking point; there are hard working men and women across this district who have reached their breaking point as well.  Reduced family budgets, businesses trying everything to make ends meet before making tough choices such as lay-offs and downsizing. From Orange County to Bedford people are tired and want a leader that will work for them!
I know this—because I hear it from people of every stripe, and from every corner of this district.
I also know that our Congresswoman is part of the reason why.  How? Well I asked her. And she told me.
Not long ago, when Wappingers Falls needed funding for vital infrastructure projects that would have created jobs and made us more competitive, as Mayor, I took our community’s cause to our Congresswoman.
 After explaining our need, how we couldn’t meet it without federal partnership, and what it would mean to job creation and growth, Her response was: “The federal government is only in the business of defense and interstate highways, not creating jobs.” Not our problem.
 Not our problem? That attitude is exactly our problem.
 At a time when our entire nation is screaming itself hoarse for someone to reverse our decline—at a time when the gravity of our challenges is so huge that only the federal government can act—our Congresswoman says NO. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.
 After the recent storms that hit our communities hard, she threatened to hold hostage money for rebuilding our damaged homes and businesses unless we slashed funding for job-creation programs—and then claimed she never said it!
 While Americans beg for action on the economy, she’s voted to gut funding for job-creation investments; played a game of chicken with our national debt that ruined America’s credit; and insists on coddling corporations and the uber wealthy while doing NOTHING to help middle class families. She rejects the idea to invest in our future and instead of focusing on the necessary issues of job creation she joined with the GOP in their focus on social issues. Just last week your Congresswoman voted to severely restrict a woman’s right to access reproductive healthcare.
So long as the current Congresswoman is in Washington, pushing this reckless agenda, ignoring the needs of OUR district, blocking the progress WE so desperately need to revive our economy, make no mistake: We will never be able to right our course.
And that’s why I’m here. I am here to ask for your help. I am here to once again get off the sidelines and take charge of our future by rejecting this leadership for our district, and this fate for our country.
I am here to ask for your support, and TOGETHER we can and we will get Congress, and America, working again. My name is Matt Alexander and I’m asking for your support.
Thank you.


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