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SCHUMER VISITS WNY TO THANK VOTERS

Continuing a tradition he started 30 years ago, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., swept into Western New York on Thursday to thank local voters for their support.

Schumer won re-election Tuesday to a second term in Washington, receiving a resounding 70 percent of the vote. His brief visit at Charlie the Butcher restaurant, Wehrle Drive at Cayuga Drive in Cheektowaga, was the last of a four-stop, cross-state tour he made Thursday.

"Let me just say to everyone here . . . that I wanted to come back right after the election just to thank Western New York for the overwhelming support I received," Schumer said. He described the margin of victory as "humbling."

Schumer was just 23 when he was elected to the Assembly in 1974. He said he couldn't sleep the night of his first victory and, the next morning, went to the local Brooklyn train station to shake hands.

He did the same Thursday afternoon.

"I wanted to assure people that I'm going to work just as hard in my second term as I (did) in my first," Schumer said. "I will be doing everything I can to be helpful and bring the jobs back."

The work has begun, he said, citing the preservation of jobs with the construction of the new General Motors engine plant in the Town of Tonawanda and the creation of new ones at Geico Direct in Amherst.

"We got a long way to go," he added.

"I appreciate that the president reached out in his speech yesterday and said he's going to try to work with everybody," Schumer said, referring to President Bush's pledge in his acceptance speech to try and bridge the partisan divide. "That's the way to go," Schumer said.

"At least from this Democrat, when the president reaches out . . . he will find a welcome hand on the other side."

e-mail: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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