Campaigning in my hometown of Syracuse and throughout the 25th District of New York has been one of the most valuable learning experiences of my life. I am thankful to have the opportunity to meet voters at parades, festivals, rallies and other community events and even more thankful to have the opportunity to hear from voters. Believe it or not, retail politics has become one of my favorite new pastimes. It allows me an opportunity to listen to the concerns of real people, not beltway insiders.

Day after day I’ve learned what voters want in their Representative. It’s rather simple actually. They want leadership. I firmly believe that no seat is safe in 2006. People are, quite frankly, fed up with a Congress they perceive to be doing absolutely nothing to helping make their lives better.

Voters in my district believe that we need new priorities in Iraq. Beltway pundits debate each other everyday as to whether or not we’re involved in a “civil war.