Local candidates spoke at a breakfast Tuesday morning in Manlius so area voters could learn more about them. Voters heard from all the candidates in the hotly contested 24th congressional race, including Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R), Dan Maffei (D) and Ursula Rozum (G).
"I don't look at women as a block of voters," said Rep. Buerkle (R). "I think the American people in the 25th district, the new 24th, want jobs, want a better economy, want to make their own health care decisions and so that's what this is about."
Rep. Buerkle won her first term in 2010 by beating Maffei who held the seat for two years.
"Women are a huge part of the electorate and the way we're attracting them is to simply have the right kind of stands on issues," said Maffei (D). "Women care about the same issues everybody does. They want jobs for their families; they want to make sure their kids can get a decent education."
Also in this race is Ursula Rozum, a Syracuse native who works at the Syracuse Peace Council.
"We need jobs for all," said Rozum (G). "We need to solve the job crisis which is the cause of the economic crisis and women I think are hit especially hard by low unemployment right now because women have the traditional burden of raising families."
Voters like Georgia Austin and Ellen McGrew, both of Manlius, say they are open minded this year.
"I'm looking for candidates that are more inclusive and looking for more opportunity for female business owners," Austin said.
McGrew wants politicians to have more responsibility. "I am so sick and tired of people saying they are going to do this and do that, ok how are you going to pay for it?" she says.
Voters will head to the polls on November 6th.