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I read with interest Donn Esmonde's column regarding the debate between Hillary Clinton and Rick Lazio. I usually find myself in Esmonde's corner on issues, but beg to differ this time.

Lazio performed adequately for the most part and scored some points in the debate, and indeed did a great deal to shed his "un-Clinton" status. But as a Western New Yorker, I was appalled by his apparent total ignorance of the economic conditions of our region. This, I feel, should be the major issue for all Western New Yorkers.

Clinton has a far better knowledge of our area due to her many trips here both before and during her tenure as first lady and especially during this Senate campaign. She has developed a specific upstate agenda that includes many ideas to help develop remedies to our unique economic situation.

The "carpetbagger" label may hold downstate and in New York City, but for us upstaters it should be irrelevant. I feel that an "outsider" who takes a fresh look at all of New York State and its wide variety of constituents would do more for Western New York than a New Yorker from Long Island, colored all his life by an allegiance to the downstate area and an ignorance of anything north of Yonkers.

This ignorance was obvious during the debate when Lazio said he saw no problems with our economy and, therefore, has no proposals to improve it. Putting aside all the extraneous baggage, Clinton would obviously be a more beneficial senator for Western New York, due to her understanding of our problems as well as her prominent stature. I would be honored to have her represent me as a senator.



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