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Democrat Barend Enters 29th District Race

By Mark Scott

Corning, NY – Yet another candidate has entered the race to succeed Congressman Amo Houghton. But this time, the announcement came from a Democrat. Samara Barend, a former campaign staffer for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, is making a series of campaign stops across the sprawling 29th congressional district, including a stop late Friday afternoon in Olean.

Samara Barend is just 26-years-old, but she has already built an impressive resume. Eight years ago, she helped build a coalition of local officials and business leaders that led to the designation of the western end of the Southern Tier Expressway as a federal interstate highway.

"It's (I-86) bringing a tremendous amount of growth already to Western New York," Barend said. "There are new distribution centers, hundreds of new jobs and increases in property values. Once it's completed, they're projecting $3 billion in economic growth along with $82 million in new sales tax revenue for the state."

The 29th congressional district is heavily Republican. In fact, there are already six candidates in the running for the GOP nomination. Barend, the only Democrat so far, said 20-percent of voters in the 29th aren't registered with a party, and she hopes to appeal to them.

"I think that these folks are looking for a new voice -- someone who is not politics as usual," Barend said. "That's what I provide."

Like the man she hopes to replace, Barend hails from Corning. She's a self-described "fiscal conservative." Barend says she'll work hard to close the massive federal budget deficit while fighting for good jobs, strong schools and accessible health care.