Francis “Joe” Vitollo
Congressman of the 20th Congressional District

MEET THE 2016 CANDIDATES

Jesse Calhoun 
​NYS Assembly, 109th District

Kate Pope
​Town Board, Bethlehem

Christopher  Davis 
NYS Senate 44th District

Chris was born in Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY right here in Senate District 44. His parents were separated and eventually divorced at just the age of two years old after the birth of his sister. He grew up with a single mother who worked hard to provide what she could, though he grew up in public housing and experienced “the system” from a young age. He enjoyed spending weekends with his father in South Troy, while living in Cohoes with his mother during the week. He learned the value of life and working tirelessly for others from his late Italian grandmother, Domenica Palma Falato, his desire to make a life for himself from his mother and his drive to succeed from his father.

He saw struggle in his life, his hometown and in the district as a whole from an early age. While he hoped the situation would improve, he noticed it seemed to get worse and worse as the years passed.  He decided education was his ticket out, and became involved with the community during his teenage years. Service was important to him, as was academic achievement.

After graduating with the highest honors from Cohoes High School he went to Siena College in Loudonville, where he majored in biology and studied extensively history, philosophy and economics. During his time at Siena College, Chris worked two jobs in the customer service/restaurant business to help pay for the cost of college, which he noticed increased every semester. During college, and in the fast paced service industry, he learned how to work under the highest levels of stress and his leadership qualities emerged. He quickly ascended to managerial roles and positions of responsibility.

With a desire to serve the public he went to the University at Albany to pursue a degree in public health. During his first year at the University he joined the New York State Department of Health and began working in the field of government. He graduated as valedictorian of his class with a Master’s Degree in Public Health. He then spent the next five years studying for his doctorate in infectious disease medical epidemiology, while working in various roles at the Department of Health.

While completing his doctorate he ultimately ascended to the role of policy coordinator at the Department of Health under the Deputy Commissioner of Public Health and the Commissioner of Health in the Cuomo administration. In this capacity he saw first-hand the regulatory process and the impacts of both well thought out and poorly designed legislation. What he further noticed was the unintended side effects of bad legislation on individuals, businesses and the state as a whole. He left this role in late 2014 and he currently is employed in the private sector with Health Research Incorporated and works in the Department of Health’s Office of Public Health Practice. He predominately works with Local Health Departments and hospitals to prevent illness and improve the health of New Yorkers as a whole.

Chris is married with three children and currently resides in Cohoes, NY. He also runs a small business where he consults with publicly traded companies to conduct fiscal and statistical analysis, assesses the economics of various industries, and is a regular contributor to major financial media outlets. In this capacity he has witnessed how difficult the current regulatory climate is for starting and running a business. It is truly more difficult than ever before. That is wrong.

Chris became involved politically while in college working with the Young Americans for Liberty as well as the national Campaign for Liberty. He took a large step into the arena in 2011 when he began working on Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign. He travelled to New Hampshire to work on the campaign, including conducting phone banking, door to door campaigning and working social media. Chris also worked with Gary Johnson and his campaign after Ron Paul left the 2012 Republican race.

Chris is a strong believer in the U.S. Constitution, the principles of social and economic liberty as well as the need for educating youth in both history and economics. Locally, he has served as an election inspector for Albany County for years. One of the major drivers of his decision to run for office was voters expressing their disdain for the complete lack of choice in the elections. It is no surprise to those in the Capitol Region and his hometown of Cohoes that Democrats were generally running unopposed on nearly every office line, and voters were more than disappointed. That is not democracy. That is not choice. The people deserve to choose. A prime example of the lack of choice is evident in Senate District 44.  No one has run against the incumbent Neil Breslin in the last two election cycles. That is wrong.

He decided to run for State Senate in 2016 after voters asked for change, after long discussions with his family, personal reflection and ultimately a desire for a better world for his children and grandchildren to inherit. He knows the history and the economics behind working policies and those that fail to generate growth and prosperity. He vows to take a stand against party politics, corruption, unneeded taxation and over burdensome regulation. He knows that good ideas can come from anyone, no matter what walk of life the come from. Ultimately, we were born free and as such, we deserve to live free. As a society, we need to ensure the playing field incentivizes the individual to have the drive to succeed and provide for his/her family. He is not running for anyone but YOU and the people of this district. The small businesses. The single mothers. The family of 5 who barely have time to eat together because both parents work. For the people saving for retirement, their children’s college education or their first home. He wants to be sure you can do these things and still enjoy your life. It’s yours to live. The current incumbent does not do that and his policies have supported a government who picks winners and losers. Not policies that incentivize you. But Chris believes in YOU. He believes in a better New York State. He is running for you. Because YOU deserve better.

BETHLEHEM

In 2007 I moved to Albany after my band played a benefit show with a University at Albany-based group and quickly determined that this is the city in which I wanted to build my personal and professional life. Since then, I have invested positive energy in the Capital District as a musician, activist and educator. In my bid for 109th State Assembly seat, I will continue to bring that passion to the city that I now call my home.

As I demonstrated in the 2013 Albany Mayoral race, I have a desire to represent the people of this great city. I believe there are workable solutions to the problems facing our region. The vacant buildings are illustrative symptoms of decades of poor economic policy. By removing the roadblocks imposed on small businesses we can make New York a place where entrepreneurs can thrive. During that campaign I advocated for better treatment of Albany’s underprivileged communities and would continue to ensure that all the voices from the 109th Assembly District are heard in the Assembly chamber.

As a preschool teacher, I’m worried about our future generations and passionate about improving the education system in our State. State testing has not only become excessive, but expensive and developmentally inappropriate. Our children deserve assessment that guides instruction instead of hindering it. To deliver the best quality education I am calling for a move away from programs like No Child Left Behind and Common Core, and for local autonomy and control of standards. When we trust our teachers and parents to work together, we are doing what is best for our students.

Another keystone of my campaign is basic constitutional rights and good government. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo rushed through the Safe-Act using a message of necessity, he inflamed tensions between members of many different parties to benefit his political career. This action criminalized law-abiding gun owners, did nothing to keep us safe and completely ignored the conversation that we should be having about mental-health issues in the state. Good government acts thoughtfully and listens to all sides.

Team Calhoun is a highly-organized grassroots organization. We have been petitioning, making door-to-door visits, distributing lawn signs and hosting events since May. For this campaign to continue its success, it will require strong support, and I’m inviting you to join Team Calhoun as we make a difference in our community.

Francis “Joe” Vitollo is the fourth of six children born to hard working parents who were first generation proud Americans of Italian immigrants. Joe grew up in southern New York, graduated from East Islip High School, Served in the United States Air Force and received an Honorable discharge in 1975. In 1977 Joe moved upstate and worked converting an old farm into retreat center as a volunteer while working part time to meet his own needs. After two years Joe married and went to college in Chicago where he volunteered in the inner city in a number of capacities ; at a criminal facility for youthful offenders, homeless shelters, and nursing homes. After graduating from college Joe moved back to the upstate area where he raised his six children, served as a leader in his local church and started a small construction business which he operated for the next 12 years. During this time Joe volunteered at Coxsackie and Greene correctional facilities participated in local community activities and served on a community board .

At the end of 1996 Joe’s life dramatically changed when he had a near crippling accident that left him unemployable and near bankrupt. Joe with the encouragement and support of many friends went back to school at Columbia Greene Community College and started working doing light odd jobs, he received a two year degree graduated with honors then went on to Maria College where he graduated from the nursing program . Joe worked as an RN at St Peter’s Hospital in the ICU for six years then took a travel assignment where he practiced out of and in state at various facilities and currently works in a level 2 emergency room.


Joe through out his life has been involved with local and state government in campaigns, lobbying and community organizing but has never held an office. Joe believes we are at a precipice in our country and at this time it is critical that men and women who are able to make hard decisions in these hard times is what is needed at the helm Joe is a fighter and believes that we can overcome by creating an environment where businesses can prosper, where the private sector can get strong enough to create jobs. Joe believe in small government , private enterprise and individual rights and freedoms. He has served his community throughout his life and wants to continue to serve as the next Congressman of the 20th Congressional District.

    


Kate, 31, lives in Delmar with her husband, Alex, and their two daughters, Olivia and Ainsley.  Originally from Flemington, NJ, Kate graduated from Hunterdon Central Regional High School before attending the University of Delaware.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Leadership in 2007.  While in Delaware, Kate interned for Congressman Mike Castle's successful reelection campaign to the United States House of Representatives which ignited her passion for politics and service to her community.


After graduation, Kate moved to Rhode Island where she began her career in Recruiting.  She worked for Randstad US for three years where she honed the ability to identify the needs of clients, promote practical solutions, and negotiate on behalf of candidates. 

 
She left a successful career in Recruiting to stay home with her girls and focus on community involvement.  Kate is a member of the Junior League of Albany, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Bethlehem Business Women, and a social member at the Elsmere Fire Department.  She is the President of the Albany County Republican Women’s Club, the Vice Chairwoman of the Bethlehem Republican Committee, and the Secretary of the Albany County Young Republican Club.  Kate and her family are parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Delmar.

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