Republican Matthew A. Doheny filed paperwork this morning with the Federal Election Commission to become a candidate for Congress.
“Look, we're going the wrong direction in this country,” Mr. Doheny, owner of Watertown-based investment firm North Country Capital, said in an interview Tuesday evening at the Watertown Daily Times. “It takes young leaders like myself who deeply understand business, who understand what it takes to run a business, to grow, to hire people, to understand how the economy really works and how finance and economics works.”
Mr. Doheny, an Alexandria Bay native who lost to Rep. William L. Owens in 2010, is likely to face off against Mr. Owens again in November 2012.
Though he announced his intention to run for Congress in May, the FEC filing serves to demarcate the “public” portion of his campaign, when he will raise funds for his effort and meet with voters on the stump. For the past few months, he has been rallying support of Republican, Independence and Conservative party activists to prepare for his run.
Mr. Doheny touted his business acumen Tuesday evening, and often lumped Mr. Owens together with President Barack Obama, invoking variations of “Owens and Obama's failed leadership” about a half-dozen times.
Mr. Doheny said that fixing the economy is a matter of growth. Easing regulations and keeping taxes low are the ways to accomplish that, he said.
“We don't need to raise taxes,” Mr. Doheny said, even as part of a plan to ease the nation's long-term debt problem.
That argument is anathema to many Democrats, including Mr. Owens and Mr. Obama, who want to raise taxes on the wealthy to tame the debt.
Mr. Doheny eluded specifics when asked about his approach to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, two of the biggest contributors to the national debt.
“Throughout the campaign, we're going to talk about specific changes,” he said.
He had a more specific answer when asked whether he would support cuts to defense programs that could hurt Fort Drum:
“No,” he said, arguing that one of the cornerstone functions of the federal government is to provide for the national defense. “Fort Drum is a crucial part of the military.”
Mr. Doheny is still not sure who his general election opponent will be. The state will soon redraw its political boundaries to account for shifts in population, so in 2012, Mr. Doheny and Mr. Owens may be in different districts. Mr. Doheny could find himself in the district of an incumbent Republican. He said that because of history and a shared interest that the region has, it likely will stay intact, and declined to say whether he would engage in a primary battle with an incumbent Republican.
“We'll answer that question when the time comes,” Mr. Doheny said.
No other Republican is in the race for the party's nod; Douglas L. Hoffman, the candidate who lost to Mr. Owens in 2009 and lost the GOP primary to Mr. Doheny in 2010, hasn't said whether he'll run again.