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Three way race for Congressional seat

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Three way race for Congressional seat
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The race for Congress in the new 24th District is now a three way contest. YNN's Bill Carey says the latest entrant promises a different approach to issues and to the campaign ahead.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- She is not your typical candidate for Congress. Arriving for her announcement on a bicycle, preparing to board a train to Albany to file her nominating petitions. Ursula Rozum says it all ties in to a key plank in her campaign platform.

“We need really good mass transit that's more convenient and more affordable than taking a private car,” Rozum said.

Rozum enters a field that offers a rematch between republican incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle and the democrat she ousted from office two years ago, Dan Maffei.

The Green Party contender claims Buerkle refuses to consider the positions favored by constituents on a host of issues ranging from defense spending to climate control.

Four years ago, she was a Dan Maffei supporter. That has changed.

Rosum said, “I worked on a get out the vote effort in 2008 that helped Dan Maffei get elected. And I found him, as a congressperson, to be uninspiring. And as a candidate this time, to be uninspiring.”

The Green Party is already bracing for the expected criticism about offering up candidates in races like the 24th Congressional District. Criticism that it's serving as a spoiler.

The theory being that, in a close race, Rozum could pull needed votes from Maffei in his challenge to Buerkle.

“The whole system is spoiled, for the people, when you have two corporate parties and you've got a choice between bad and even worse. We're providing a progressive alternative,” Green Party member Howie Hawkins said.

“They're sick of representatives that are more beholden to corporate interests than to the public well being. And I think progressive voters in the 24th District know that they can count on Green Party candidates to be independent and to not accept money from corporations and to be accountable to the people,” Rozum said.

Rozum says she will still raise enough money to get her message across. A message that she says more accurately reflects the views of district voters than the messages of the two major party contenders.

It has become much easier for Green Party candidates to run for a variety of offices. The party received more than 50,000 votes in the 2010 gubernatorial election, meaning it now qualifies for an automatic ballot line. The petitioning requirements for placement on the line are much easier to meet.

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