WHITE PLAINS, NY — There are several contested races in this month's primary, including the Congressional District 17. Patch asked candidates in the contested races to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as the primary day draws near.
David Buchwald, 42, of White Plains, is running to be the Democratic candidate for the 17th Congressional District. Longtime Rep. Nita Lowey is retiring at the end of the term. The district covers Rockland County and most of Westchester.
Buchwald's opponents in the June 23 Democratic primary are Mondaire Jones, Evelyn Farkas, Adam P. Schleifer, Asha Castleberry-Hernandez, Allison Fine and David Carlucci.
Buchwald has been a New York State Assemblyman for seven years. Prior to that, he was on the White Plains City Council and a tax attorney. He has a bachelor of science degree in physics from Yale University and received a law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
He is married with two daughters.
Why are you seeking elective office?
I am running for Congress to help people and solve problems, of which there are many in Washington right now. I believe I have the right experience to ensure our district continues to have strong representation in Washington. We are at an important moment in our nation’s history, and my skill set in science, economics, tax law, transportation policy and actual legislating is unmatched in this race, which is why I believe County Executive George Latimer and over 80 elected officials and organizations like the New York State Nurses Association have endorsed my candidacy (full list available at this link).
The single most pressing issue facing our community, and what I intend to do about it.
The single most important issue is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, both healthwise and economically. As a Congressmember, I will fight to ensure New York has the financial support we need to protect vital programs and boost our economy. Further, I will push for national Paid Sick Leave and hazard pay for frontline workers. I strongly feel that we should support our small businesses and non-profits, while also ensuring all treatments for COVID-19 are affordable. In the long term, we must restore SALT deductions to boost our region’s economy, ensure that our country is capable of producing sufficient medical supplies, and expand uses of Medicaid. My full plan can be found at this link.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I have the strongest record of actual success on the issues of importance to residents of the Lower Hudson Valley and on promoting the values of our Democratic Party (on items like women’s reproductive rights, the environment and gun safety). I have passed more progressive legislation than anyone in the race, and have sponsored 70 bills that have passed into law in New York State. I won’t need on the job training, and from day one I’ll be able to hit the ground running to deliver for the people of our 17th Congressional District. I have also already taken on Trump — he’s currently suing to block my law to expose his tax returns. Furthermore, I have lived almost my entire life in this Congressional District, and am committed to staying here and raising my family here — our older daughter will be starting kindergarten in the White Plains public schools this fall.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
In addition to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing police brutality, my priorities include tackling gun safety, protecting reproductive rights, taking on corruption, overhauling our nation’s tax code, and protecting our environment. My website outlines my platform on these issues at this link.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
My record in the Assembly — sponsoring over 70 bills that have become law — demonstrates that I know how to build coalitions to get things done. The people of Rockland and Westchester deserve a Congressmember who will stand up for what is right, not for what is easy. As a freshman Assemblymember, I took on corrupt public officials by introducing a bill to strip those convicted of corruption of their taxpayer-funded pensions. I also, even before entering Congress, have worked to hold Trump accountable by sponsoring and passing legislation to turn over his tax returns, co-sponsoring the Reproductive Health Act to enshrine Roe v. Wade into New York State Law, and banning offshore drilling.
The best advice ever shared with me was …
Congresswoman Nita Lowey told me a few years ago that the most important thing I could do was be a good State Assemblyman. I have tried to take her words to heart, and it is my hope that people have noticed my commitment to our area.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
Throughout my career, I have successfully fought for progressive solutions to the problems we face today. My proven record of results is how my campaign has built a broad and diverse coalition of support across the district, with more than 80 elected officials and groups supporting me. From unions representing frontline workers like the New York State Nurses Association and 32BJ, to leaders in Rockland and Westchester, like Senator James Skoufis and Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Perhaps I’m not the flashiest candidate in the race, and I certainly can’t send you a million mailings, but this moment of uncertainty requires tested leaders. It takes elected officials who have done the work day in day out, helping their constituents, passing legislation, and advocating for the issues that matter. There are fewer and fewer substantive policymakers in Washington nowadays like Congresswoman Nita Lowey. No one can truly replace her, but we need someone who, like her, gets the job done. In the State Assembly, I have sponsored more than 70 pieces of legislation that have become law, helped countless constituents on issues big and small, and fought to bring much-needed reforms to improve government (a number of them mentioned above). We need serious, progressive leadership to overcome this pandemic, face systemic racism head-on, and undo the damage the Trump Administration is doing to our nation and our democracy. I’m ready to bring my experience and skills to Washington to fight for you in Congress. Go to DavidBuchwaldForCongress.com and learn more about my campaign, I hope I can count on your vote to be our next Member of Congress.
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