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Doheny talks shop with businesses in northern St. Lawrence County

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OGDENSBURG - Republican Matthew A. Doheny, candidate for New York’s 21st Congressional District, visited Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg Bottlers Thursday to talk with President and CEO Bonita A. “Bonnie” Wright and her husband and general manager, Richard L., about creating jobs, boosting the local economy and the candidate’s favorite soft drink, Cherry Pepsi.

The visit was one of many of Mr. Doheny’s campaign stops in northern St. Lawrence County Thursday. He also visited Wright’s Marina, 115 Main St., Morristown; Morristown Fuel Supply, 501 Chapman St.; and Queenaire Technologies, 9483 Route 37, Ogdensburg.

“We want to hear from small businesses to learn about what struggles they are facing and how we can address them,” Mr. Doheny said during his visit to the bottling plant. “That’s what it’s all about. We want to find ways of boosting the economy by providing private sector jobs.”

Mr. Doheny said federal mandates under the Affordable Care Act and state regulations which discourage businesses from operating in New York are the biggest issues business owners in the north country face.

“First of all, my goal is to do no harm,” Mr. Doheny said. “We need to maintain what we have. We are hearing a lot today about how Obamacare is weighing down existing small businesses. We also need to put a stop to the regulations that are constricting businesses.”

Mr. Wright said mom-and-pop stores, which used to be the soda distributor’s bread and butter, are now nearly non-existent.

“That’s exactly what we want to stop,” Mr. Doheny said.

Mr. Doheny said that the growth of small businesses in areas like Ogdensburg is key to the economy’s rebirth.

Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg Bottlers employs 48 people and distributes to businesses throughout St. Lawrence County.

“We need to make sure businesses like this, which employ local people and provide a service to the community, stay here,” Mr. Doheny said. “I talked with two Clarkson graduates at Wright’s Marina today who were forced to find jobs out of the area because they could not find jobs here. We have well-educated people here. Whether they graduate from Ogdensburg Free Academy, Lisbon High or Canton, we need to find ways to keep them here to help the north country.”

Mr. Doheny will face off against Elise A. Stefanik of Wilsboro in a June 24 Republican primary. The winner of that race faces Democrat Aaron G. Woolf of Elizabethtown and Green Party candidate Matthew J. Funiciello of Glens Falls for the congressional seat to be vacated by Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who is not seeking re-election.

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