Call Me Tom

MAYVILLE – A new congressman is officially presiding over the 23rd Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, was sworn into office Tuesday by Hon. John T. Ward, in association with Hon. Stephen Cass. In addition to members of the public, County Executive Greg Edwards, District Attorney David Foley, Sheriff Joseph Gerace and representatives from various other political offices were in attendance.

Edwards opened, thanking Reed for being in Chautauqua County to be sworn into office.

“I cannot think of anyone better skilled or more committed than our congressman, Tom Reed, to deliver for the people in Chautauqua County,” Edwards said. “He started as part of that freshman class two years ago. He went in with principles and is still living by those principles today.”

Following Edwards’ speech, Cass formally swore Reed into office. Reed then spoke, introducing himself to the public.

“I am Congressman Reed, but, from this day forward, it will always be Tom,” Reed said, adding he is one of 12 children and would like to get off on the right foot in his new district by erasing some of the formalities.

Reed made his priorities for his time in Washington clear. He said his first purpose is to be a resource for everyone in his district. Additionally, he will be holding public town hall meetings in order to hear the voices of the people he represents.

“We really want to be a strong voice and bring the concerns of the people in the 23rd Congressional District to Washington D.C., rather than the other way around. And, in order to do that, you need to listen,” he said.

Reed also spoke about the debt crisis, addressing spending and job creation, all of which he says are priorities for his time in office.

“Jobs solve so many issues. We have to get some issues under control. This debt is mounting everyday, so we have a debt crisis that we are facing,” Reed said. “We’re not going to engage in old-school politics and pork barrel spending. We’re going to do what’s right for Americans for generations, and that’s to clean up the place.”

Having Reed sworn into office in Chautauqua County amounts to a symbolic measure of how Reed will uphold his duties to the people in the county, according to Edwards.

“The symbolism is very poignant that we have him here, in this historic courtroom, doing that,” Edwards said. ” I think that’s where Tom Reed, our congressman, is rolling up his sleeves, doing the people’s work with the people, not in some office in some building in Washington, but right here on the streets in the rural areas of Chautauqua County. He has proved it in his previous two years representing areas other than Chautauqua County. I am thrilled he is going to do it for us going forward.”

Reed will begin his town hall meetings Saturday. He will be at the Hanover Town Hall in Silver Creek at 8 a.m. Reed will then be at the Westfield Village Hall in Westfield at 10:30. In the afternoon, he will be at the Carroll Town Hall in Frewsburg at 1 p.m. Finally, Reed will be at the Olean Public Library in Olean at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.