Just a week after incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop earned the endorsement of Montauk political heavyweight John Behan, his challenger Randy Altschuler announced on Monday that he has reeled in the support of a number of fishing associations.
Altschuler has earned endorsements from the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), the Montauk Boatman & Captain’s Association (MBCA) and the New York Fishing Tackle Trades Association. Leaders from those groups joined the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party candidate at the Montauk Yacht Club Marina on Monday afternoon.
“Representative Bishop has not been a consistent voice for the needs of our Long Island recreational fishermen, and has been a strong proponent of the Pelosi-Obama doctrine which has not been good for our coastal constituents,” said RFA Managing Director Jim Hutchinson, Jr. “RFA is hoping that Speaker John Boehner can get Randy on the House Resources Committee in 2013, we need a Long Island representative on that committee.”
“I’ve met with Randy numerous times and spoken to him about how fishing is part of the fabric of who we are out on the East End,” said Captain Joe McBride. “His willingness to truly learn about these issues and not just pay us lip service is very important to me. I feel very good about this endorsement and about having Randy as our next Congressman.”
“As president of the MBCA, I know that my members feel that the East End does not currently have someone in Washington who is truly willing to fight for us during a very critical time for our industry,” said Captain Rick Etzel. “We have an opportunity to change that by sending Randy to Congress and I, for one, will work hard to see that it happens.”
“I could not be more proud to stand here and accept these endorsements today and cannot overstate how important this is to my campaign,” said Altschuler on Monday. “Fishermen, boatmen, marina owners, and bait and tackle shop owners are integral to our local economy. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 291,000 saltwater anglers help to contribute more than $645 million a year in total economic impact to New York State. Open public access to a healthy and sustainable population of fish represents both a significant jobs issue for New York’s First Congressional District and part of Suffolk County’s rich history.”
He added that his 10-point jobs plan includes a plank dedicated to federal fisheries reform.
“Randy Altschuler went to a yacht club to receive an endorsement engineered by Republicans,” said Congressman Bishop’s campaign spokesman Robert Pierce. “The Congressman has repeatedly delivered for the fishing community across Long Island, including securing funds to dredge Lake Montauk and Shinnecock Inlet. Congressman Bishop is also working to get New York a seat on the New England Fishery Management Council and he has introduced legislation to allow for the recreational fishing o striped bass in federal waters off Montauk where it is now prohibited.”