ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - As the race for president heats up, local elections are also becoming more contentious. Both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions stressed the importance of national security.
We asked Congressman Tom Reed and his Democratic opponent John Plumb about their plans for national security in Congress if they're elected.
"I feel I can serve the country, longer, in a different way now in Congress,” said Plumb. “And I think I’ve got a real shot to do it."
John Plumb has served more than twenty years in the Navy and Navy Reserves, and feels his experience in the military could help him if he's elected.
“I think most of the problems we have in this country right now are because Congress is so busy pointing fingers at each other, and also so busy ignoring any opportunity to get things done,” said Plumb. “We need people that are willing to work together because the national security – the security of our citizens, the security of our armed forces is far more important than Republican or Democrat."
But the incumbent, Congressman Reed, says Plumb is part of the problem in D.C., and has the wrong idea when it comes to keeping Americans safe.
"My opponent comes out of the Obama administration, advises the Obama administration on their foreign policy and national security concerns,” said Reed. “And I disagree with Obama's overall policy of a sense of weakness, an apologetic type of approach to the issues."
Reed and Plumb don't seem to agree on much, especially when it comes to national security.
"I certainly wouldn't vote to shut down the Department of Homeland Security,” Plumb said. “If you have concerns with the way it's working, let's make it better, but defunding it only makes us less safe.
"I'm not aware of any votes where we voted to shut anything down, so I'll let my opponent speak for the accusations and attacks that he may try to raise out of his D.C. style," said Reed.
Congressman Reed was involved with the government shutdown during budget negotiations. He stands by his opinion there needs to be changes in spending, but says there was no vote to specifically shut down the DHS.