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Biden visiting New York as country races toward midterm elections

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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President Joe Biden will make his way to Syracuse, New York, Thursday and this won’t be his first visit to the city.

His relationship with Syracuse began back in the 1960s when the president lived in the area and attended Syracuse University Law School.

Syracuse locals said his visit will bring the nation’s attention to the community. Biden spent a number of years in the Syracuse area. He graduated from Syracuse University Law School in 1968, and shortly after, married his late first wife Central New York native, Neilia Hunter.

“It’s cool,” said neighbor Brian Hammons. “You know, you're representing Syracuse. Go Orange!”

The couple lived on Stinard Avenue in Syracuse’s Strathmore neighborhood, in a home that is currently up for sale.

Since leaving Syracuse, the president has returned a number of times for speeches and visits, but never before in the role of President of the United States.

I think that this is a home, a place that he feels comfortable and people that he wants to take care of,” said neighbor Becky Piemonte.

Neighbors said his close ties to Syracuse make this visit more meaningful.

“Because he has ties here to Syracuse, people know him personally,” said neighbor Brian Hammons. “He went to school, and I do think it makes it more meaningful that he’s coming here. In a sense, it’s like a homecoming.”

During his visit, the president will be showcasing a multi-billion-dollar investment in a Micron facility coming to Clay. The company is one of the largest microchip manufacturers in the world.

His visit comes less than two weeks before election day. “His timing with the politics – I think it does connect together,” said Hammons.

“Like the propaganda, it's really to sweeten you up, and then once it all comes down to it, he’s like, 'Yeah, so you should vote for our party because this is everything that we are doing for you and your people, and don't forget that I also lived in Syracuse for a little while.' That sweetens up the deal as well,” said neighbor Tatiana Breland. Although he is coming to discuss the Micron deal, many would like to see him address other issues in the city.

I mean it’s always important for him to address the needs of the area that he’s in, and the goals and plans he has going forward,” said Breland.

Other community members shared they would like Biden to address lowering prices and gun violence.

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The Syracuse area is home to a House race for a seat being vacated by moderate Republican Rep. John Katko, a critical pickup opportunity for Democrats in a district that Biden won by more than 7 percentage points in 2020, The Associated Press said. Biden’s visit could also give a boost to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, whose reelection contest against Republican Lee Zeldin has tightened in recent weeks. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Hochul, Katko and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will all be at the event, according to a White House official.

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