ELMIRA HEIGHTS, N.Y. (WENY) -- Community members gathered at the Elmira Heights Theater Wednesday evening for a Political Pundit Night, ahead of Thursday's Primary Elections. The topic of discussion was more focused on the Midterm Elections, coming up in November.
The event was the 11th political pundit night hosted by Dr. Steve Coleman. Six panelists shared the stage to talk about the topic of the night, which was "Congressman Tom Reed: A Success or A Failure?"
These gatherings are designed to be a chance for residents to come together, hear different viewpoints and weigh in with their own opinions.
WENY's own Political Analyst, Dr. Jim Twombly, was one of the panelists Wednesday night. He began the discussion giving people in the crowd some ideas on how to determine the success of a politician.
"Obviously there are some straightforward, easily observed measures of a Congressman's success. The first and foremost is, can they get reelected? What bills have they introduced? How many? Or how many have they sponsored? How many of those bills got passed?" Dr. Twombly asked the crowd.
Some of the big topics of the night included social security and healthcare. A number of the panelists and some audience members criticized Congressman Reed's voting record, whereas others expressed support for the Congressman, emphasizing his accessibility by hosting frequent Town Halls.
Congressman Tom Reed is next up for reelection in November 2018, going up against Democratic nominee Tracy Mitrano. "We know from listening at more than 250 public town hall meetings our support throughout the district is strong," said Abbey Daugherty, Communications Director for Tom Reed for Congress.
"Tom has a strong record of successfully solving thousands of individual constituent problems, helping families keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, and listening to their concerns. From our record of accessibility, we know firsthand Tom is an effective voice for the 23rd District," Daugherty added in a statement via email.
Dr. Coleman plans to host another Political Pundit Night in October ahead of the Midterm Elections.