Marking a subtle difference from the 2010 election, Republican Congressional candidate Randy Altschuler announced on Monday the endorsements of fishing groups in his bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop, this time reeling in the official endorsement of the Montauk Boatman's and Captain's Association.
Capt. Joe McBride, legislative representative of the MBCA, said on Monday following a press conference at the Montauk Yacht Club Marina that he has not seen the support for his industry from Bishop that he's seen in the Republican challenger, who
"Altschuler has come to us on numerous occasions and asked us for our support," he said. "Bishop has done nothing compared to other states. It's time to have a Congressman who will be supportive of the recreational fishing industry and those affiliated with it - such as the charter fishing industry, party boats, tackle shops - who rely to a great extent on sport fishing in New York State, particularly on the East End of Long Island."
McBride said he attended several Bishop fundraisers in the 2010 cycle before personally endorsing Altschuler the week of the election, though the MBCA stayed neutral. After Bishop introduced a bill which would have opened miles of waters to striper fishing for New York anglers, McBride said he was disheartened when the bill never made it out of committee in 2010, particularly with a Democrat-controlled Congress.
A Bishop spokesman provided the following statement: "Randy Altschuler went to a yacht club to receive an endorsement engineered by Republicans. The Congressman has repeatedly delivered for the fishing community across Long Island, including securing funds to dredge Lake Montauk and Shinnecock Inlet.
"Congressman Bishop is also working to get New York a seat on the New England Fishery Management Council, and he has introduced legislation to allow for the recreational fishing of striped bass in federal waters off Montauk where it is now prohibited. The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee stated on the House floor that he will call a hearing on Bishop's bill in the coming weeks. It is unfortunate that party loyalty is clouding all of the hard and effective work Congressman Bishop has done for this industry."
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Randy Altschuler lost by less than 500 votes. He lost by 593 votes.