Updated 12/10/2012 09:31 PM
Congressman Hinchey thanks voters
After two decades serving his district, Congressman Maurice Hinchey now has just three weeks left in office. The longtime representative announced his retirement earlier this year, but before he goes, he's taking the time to thank the public. Our Elyse Mickalonis has more Congressman Hinchey's farewell tour and his plans for the future.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- After serving 20 years in Congress, retiring Congressman Maurice Hinchey started his Farewell Tour on Monday, first stopping in Binghamton.
"Many of the things that can be done you have to concentrate on them,” said Hinchey. “Understand them in a way that you can do it and make it better and more effective and that's what I've been doing."
Hinchey used his time there to talk to the people who voted for him, as well as city leaders he worked alongside during his time in office.
"He was always well-studied the issues he worked on. And what he set the bar so high for the staff was to make sure you do your research, go after the issue and don’t give up until you get your way,” said Dan Lamb, Hinchey staff member.
Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan added, "I think every time we have a tragedy, the flood, ACA tragedy, he was always first on the phone to say he was always there for us."
The Congressman looked back on all his accomplishments and offered his appreciation.
"Proud to call you my friends and proud of what we have accomplished together. That's what we have done, we accomplished them together and I thank you very much for all of that,” said Hinchey.
Later, he traveled to Owego, speaking to people there about his work on the Riverwalk, securing $2 million in federal funding for the 1,200 foot walkway along the Susquehanna River. Still, Hinchey says there’s still more he wishes he could do as a congressman for the area.
"Regret of not being a member of the circumstances here for at least another few years. I love this, I love the people here. I love this operation, circumstances here, the kinds of things we could do,” said Hinchey.
Hinchey says even though he’ll no longer be in office, he wants people to know that he’s not going anywhere.
"I'm not going to be a lost person,” said Hinchey. “I'm going try to do what I can, I'll be here to meet the people talk to them and try to do whatever I can to be useful and helpful."
Tipping his hat to Congress with bittersweet emotions, Hinchey says he always tried to stand up for what is right, even if it made him unpopular, feelings he plans to take with him as he begins the next chapter in his life.
Hinchey's farewell tour will also take him to the Hudson Valley parts of his district before his term ends.