JAMESTOWN - Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, is not officially on the campaign trail yet, but he paid a visit to the area Saturday morning to introduce himself.
The Chautauqua County Republican Committee hosted a breakfast at Alfie's Restaurant on Saturday, where they invited Reed to speak and take questions. Around 100 people attended the event, prompting another table and more chairs to be added to the room.
"I wanted to come over and spend some time in a new part of the 23rd Congressional District. I just wanted to introduce myself and say hello. We haven't officially kicked off our campaign - that will be April 30 - but, obviously this is an unofficial visit to come over and just say hello," Reed said.
OBSERVER?Photo by Liz Skoczylas
Congressman Tom Reed speaks Saturday at a breakfast event hosted by the Chautauqua County Republican Committee.
Also in attendance were state Sen. Catharine Young, R-C-I Olean, and Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Chautauqua County. Both spoke of their excitement to work with Reed.
"I am so excited about the election this year. As we know, we have the presidential election. I think that we can pick up house seats in Congress. I think that we can take back the U.S. Senate," Young said.
Recent redistricting has placed Chautauqua County in a more "Southern Tier" district stretching as far east as Reed's Corning base instead of the county's previous district which includes Buffalo, current Rep. Brian Higgins' base.
Goodell noted the courage and wisdom that he says Reed brings to the political party.
"I am so thankful that our congressman has not only the wisdom, but the political courage to stand up and say 'we have to address these issues, and we have to do it in a long-term perspective,'" Goodell said.
Carla Westerlund, who is a member of The Chautauqua County Republican Committee, said that the group chose to bring Reed in to make him feel welcome in his new district.
"We decided to hold a breakfast, and not charge if people just called and RSVP'd. We wanted to do something in appreciation," Westerlund said.
In addition to meeting with The Chautauqua County Republican Committee, Reed was at the Lakewood American Legion on Saturday at a meeting hosted by The True Americans Restoring America.