UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — Hal Stewart, a Navy veteran from Binghamton, formally entered the race for congress. Stewart is running as an independent and, like his opponents, is anxiously awaiting the results of the redistricting which are expected to be voted on this fall.
“I wasn’t going to announce until the redistricting,” Stewart said.
“I know I’ll be in Binghamton that much I have settled, but I don’t know if our district is going to go west. Or is it going to be the same? Is it going to be district 24 that I’ll be in? There’s a couple of problems with that. Number one is, I don’t know where I should be campaigning besides Binghamton. Two, as an independent candidate it requires a lot of signatures. You only need 350 to get on to the ballot if you’re attached to a party. If you’re an independent you need 3,500, and they have to be in your district. And it has to be for the district you’re in, so if tomorrow it changes to district 24 everything I’ve done so far is erased.”
Regardless of these concerns, Stewart is confident his name will appear on the ballot in 2022. Running as an independent candidate, Stewart said, “I don’t want to be stuck with anybody’s message. I want to just be able to give my own message, to deliver the ideas that I have. and I don’t want to be stuck with a party’s platform.”
Stewart will fund a campaign focused on unity and idea sharing on his own. He says the government has already taken enough money from the American people.
“If I can’t win without their money, then I don’t want the job,” he said.
This will be Stewart’s first race seeking a political position at any level.