BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The race for district 23 representative, that includes Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties is gaining heat.
Air Force veteran and Democratic nominee Max Della Pia is one candidate in the running. Della Pia is facing an uphill battle as NY-23 is a primarily red district.
“You have to look at what people’s values are and their vision for the future," Della Pia said. "My values are, I care about our families, I care about taking care of the constituents in the district.”
The race gained more attention when Republican Chris Jacobs withdrew himself from running in response to backlash he received for publicly supporting an assault weapons ban.
Della Pia said he supports the Second Amendment, but is in favor of background checks, without loopholes like gun shows.
This is how he answered when asked if he is in favor of banning assault weapons all together:
"Assault weapons — the definition makes a difference," Della Pia said. "But at the very least, we should not allow large magazines because they're just not necessary in the civilian world unless you're trying to kill a bunch of people."
Della Pia also said age matters and he would not be against increasing the purchase age for such weapons to 21. That's a measure that both the New York State Senate and U.S. House of Representatives just passed in the last several days.
"18 to 21, that little slice of 4% is creating 14% of these incidents. Why not use the data? That's another point, we should study this, we shouldn't ignore it," Della Pia said.
Della Pia said a number of issues are important to him, including accessible broadband, lowering drug prices and equitable healthcare. He said if elected, he will push for meaningful change.
"I think it comes down to being statesmen like. Let's agree to disagree today, but let's find an issue we can work on together."