NY-22: Hanna campaigns at Remington Arms

NY-22: Hanna campaigns at Remington Arms

NY-22: Hanna campaigns at Remington Arms
June 24, 2014

On the day of the primary election, Rep. Richard Hanna stopped at the Remington Arms factory in Ilion to remind workers to vote.

Hanna stood outside the plant during a shift change to greet the gun manufacturer’s employees and told one worker, “Even if you vote for the other guy, please remember to vote.”

“These are difficult campaigns because they’re primaries and you worry about turnout and that kind of thing, but we have a very broad solid record and a very fiscally conservative record—a lot to run on,” Hanna said. “We’ve got a lot done and we’ve certainly worked with Remington Arms to help them and promote them in this country and overseas where they’re selling a lot of their product.”

Hanna has the endorsement of the Remington Arms factory union and the National Rifle Association.

The Remington Arms factory has become a political talking point since the plant announced in May that it would be cutting more than 100 jobs and moving two of its assembly lines to Alabama. Several Republican politicians have used the company’s decision as an example of the poor business climate they say the state suffers from, as well as the negative effects of the SAFE Act. Last week gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino visited the Ilion plant to talk about the same issues.

“It’s a tragedy. I think that the SAFE Act gave Remington Arms the perfect opportunity to move at least three of their lines south and cost this community anywhere between 80, and maybe as many as 200 jobs,” Hanna said. “These are real middle class jobs, union jobs, and I think everyone’s for gun safety, but the SAFE Act did very little to promote that and a lot to hurt a business like this.”

Hanna grew up in Herkimer County and ran a business until 2010 when he decided to run for office for the first time.

“I was in business in New York and, frankly, it’s such a difficult place to do business. I had everything I ever wanted and my wife and I looked around and said, ‘You know what? Being in business in New York is more a risk than it is a benefit.’ And yet, we had a good business, but it wasn’t worth it anymore.”

Hanna said when he went to Congress it was the first time he had ever gotten a paycheck where he didn’t sign it to himself.

Hanna said he was relieved the campaign was over and that they wanted to be able to get back to work.

“It hasn’t been a very thoughtful campaign. There’s been a lot of negative and it’s been a disappointment. You wish for better. Something that is more than talking points and things that are meant to raise the ire and hate of a few people,” Hanna said. “Because we can do better than that and we’re not and I can do better than that, but I feel I haven’t had the opportunity, because I’ve just been so badly portrayed, and it’s not true.”

Hanna said they have not talked about whether he will remain on the ballot in November on the Independence Party line if he loses the primary.

“You call us in the morning and we’ll talk about it then,” he said. “We’re not in this to lose and we don’t think we will, so we’ll see.”

Ashley Hupfl