MAHOPAC, N.Y. -- Joined by more than 100 supporters at Four Brothers Restaurant, Somers resident Phil Oliva recently kicked off his congressional campaign for the 18th District, saying that the "country is heading in the wrong direction, Washington is broken and that only strong, principled leadership will help get the country back on the right track."
Oliva, a Republican, wasted little time in leveling sharp criticism at the nation’s leaders.
"We have a $19 trillion national debt, 94 million Americans are out of the workforce, we're under attack by terrorists, our allies no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us and Washington keeps kicking the can down the road," he said. "I'm not looking to go to Washington and join the 'go-along-to-get-along' crowd. I'm looking to break up the status quo and get us back to a smarter, more limited form of government that's focused on a strong national defense, free enterprise economy that expands job creation and income growth, and securing the borders once and for all."
Oliva also said that if elected he would focus on the local heroin epidemic, regional infrastructure needs and the needs of veterans.
He accused the current congressman, Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring), of being out of touch with constituents’ needs.
"He said nothing about Iran capturing 10 of our sailors and holding them at gunpoint, but the same week he starts a petition to rename Donald J. Trump Park in Putnam? We have more important issues, and we don't have time for these silly political games," said Oliva.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell were among several local officials on hand to support Oliva.
"I'm proud to enthusiastically support Phil's campaign, because he is grounded and principled," Astorino said. "Washington won't change Phil. We can count on Phil to change Washington."
Oliva has over 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors, working in the healthcare industry and at various levels of government, including time as a speechwriter for former New York Governor George Pataki. He has also served as an advisor to Astorino.
Oliva earned an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor's degree from Siena College, where he played Division I baseball and Division I-AA football.
He and his wife, Jessica, are the parents of two children, and are expecting a third child this month.
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