SARANAC LAKE - The retiring Democrat Rep. Bill Owens officially endorsed fellow Democratic congressional candidate Democrat Aaron Woolf Thursday.
The pair were campaigning together in St. Lawrence County, visiting Ductman Mechanicals in Norfolk, in Agway Potsdam, Northern Music and Video in Potsdam and Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone.
"We tried to get out and try to reach a couple of businesses in St. Lawrence County," Owens told the Enterprise. "We had a good visit and good discussion."
Woolf, a documentary filmmaker, lives in both Elizabethtown and New York City. He reached out to Owens soon after the congressman decided to retire, meeting for the first time about four months ago. Democrat Stephen Burke, a town councilman from Macomb, will challenge Woolf in a primary set for June 24.
"I had the honor of hearing from business owners and the good people of New York's 21st District about the issues that are most important to the North Country economy," Woolf wrote in a press release about his day spent campaigning.
Owens was back on the road Friday, visiting Saranac Lake for an Anzac Day event in honor of an Australian soldier who came there and committed suicide. There he told the Enterprise why he was endorsing Woolf.
"He's on target with important issues like jobs and the economy," Owens said. "I think he's on target on views of the Ryan budget. I think he's got the right view on immigration reform."
Owens called Woolf "independent minded" and said he was impressed with his ability to "listen and learn" from others.
"He's not only promised to talk bipartisan," Owens said. "He's said he will vote that way."
Woolf believes the endorsement will give him momentum. His campaign currently has about $400,000 cash on hand.
"I'm thrilled to have the endorsement of Congressman Bill Owens, and I'm very appreciative of the ongoing guidance, wisdom, and support he has offered to the campaign." Woolf wrote.