Reed returns to Corning for ‘farewell’ town hall

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Tom Reed speaks to a crowd gathered for his “farewell” town hall series in Corning. (Vaughn Golden/WSKG)

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) held what will likely be his last town hall event Thursday where he reflected on his several terms in Congress.

Reed spoke at Corning City Hall as part of a “farewell” series of town hall events this week. Last year, the former Corning mayor announced he will not seek reelection following sexual harassment allegations came to light. Reed did not deny the allegations and said he had also been struggling with alcohol.

While he took a few policy questions, the event was more dedicated to reflection. Several former staffers for Reed’s office as well as his family and neighbors were in attendance.

“I’ve done a couple of these things and I’m like, gosh it’s like being at your own funeral sometimes,” Reed joked about the series of town halls.

Current Corning Mayor Bill Boland delivered remarks praising Reed for his service.

Reed touted his work to promote bipartisan consensus building in Congress, but he also painted a grim picture of the growing hyperpartisanship and cynicism he has witnessed on Capitol Hill.

“There’s a lot of good men and women down there, don’t get me wrong, but there are people that have their priorities out of wack,” Reed said. “And all it is is about getting elected. It’s all about wearing the pin on your lapel that says that you’re a member of congress and doors can be opened for you.”

Reed was not optimistic about Congress getting much accomplished in his remaining time due to the upcoming midterm elections, but he said there are a few items he still wants to try to push through before he leaves office.