CORNING, N.Y. (WENY) -- Democrat Ian Golden is campaigning for Congress in a big way -- he's taking on the 23rd District by foot.

"I think it took me a bit to really be comfortable on the campaign trail and reflect really who I am," says Golden. "And this is a part of that. So I'm literally running."

Golden is challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Tom Reed. 

He launched his run across the largely rural district at the end of last month. The 30-day, 400 mile trek will take Golden through eleven different counties.

The goal--to meet voters across the district face-to-face.

"The intent has just been to get myself out there," says Golden. "To connect, to see the district on foot and to set up stops and interviews with people and businesses who are doing good things in our community."

Golden says he was at first uncertain about the idea -- but was quickly reassured by his friends and fellow runners.

"I think the to hear it out loud made it more real. But again, I had to be okay with it reflecting just who I am," says Golden.

And who he is--is a veteran runner. Golden had been hitting the pavement competitively for over thirty years.
He's also a small-business owner in Tompkins County.
All of this is an integral part of his role in the community and the campaign.

"I know what it's like to wear multiple hats and really make ends meat to put food on the table and so I really want to see more of that stepping into government," says Golden. "I feel too many politicians are detached from our communities and maybe they always had the intention of being a politician, but I think communities really miss out if that's who is representing us. I really wanted to be that change from the ground up."

Golden is tracking his progress and his stops across the district on his campaign website.