Rep. Louise Slaughter, recovering from broken leg.
ROCHESTER, NY - Two weeks after breaking her leg in a fall, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D- NY 28th) says she's eager to get back to work.
Slaughter spoke to reporters on Tuesday at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester where she continues her recovery, about the injury which she says she sustained when she tripped while crossing a street in New York City on April 2nd.
Slaughter, 82, is seeking a 13th term in the House of Representatives.
"This was a very severe fracture of the femur just above the knee and in the knee joint. It is beautifully realigned and I expect a full recovery," commented Slaughter's orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Stephen L Kates, MD.
"I have my first campaign poster. It says cast your vote for Louise Slaughter, a leg up on the competition," joked Mrs. Slaughter, who was first elected to congress in 1986.
But Slaughter turned serious when addressing speculation that besides recovering from a broken leg, she might also be gravely ill.
"It's absolutely not true and I can't believe anyone would stoop that low," said Slaughter, regarding the circulation of what she termed as "awful rumors" that she has some other serious health malady such as cancer.
"My health is fine...I wouldn't be running for office if I was about to die...I never intend to start anything I can't finish," Slaughter said.
After serving for ten years in a district which includes parts of Monroe, Orleans, Niagara, and Erie Counties, new Congressional lines as a result of re-districting will place Slaughter's seat entirely within Monroe County, where she lives in the Rochester suburb of Fairport.
There, she faces a formidable challenger in popular three term Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.
"There probably isn't a favorite (in the race) at the moment," remarked veteran campaign advertising strategist Arnold Rothschild, President of Rochester based Normal Advertising Communications.
"You're looking at an immensely popular long term incumbent (Slaughter) , against a very appealing candidate (Brooks) who has a 70% approval rating in the district," said Rothschild, in describing the race as nothing short of a clash of the titans.
Rothschild says, despite the way campaigning has evolved in the digital age, personal appearances and "door-to-door" campaigning still hold sway with many voters, which might help Brooks as Slaughter continues to convalesce.
"Candidates have to get out and they have to talk...especially today, because the only way you can defend yourself against negative imaging is to get out and meet voters and create that level of likeability."
"Campaigning is very tough and can be grueling," Rothschild continued. "It's not uncommon for a candidate to be at eight or ten events per day, and so it's going to be a very taxing campaign on an 82 year old woman recovering from a broken leg."
Though she is months from making a full recovery, Slaughter says it won't hamper her ability to wage an effective campaign, especially because the new district is much more condensed than her current one which stretches from Rochester to Buffalo.
"That's one thing I don't have to worry about that I did ten years ago... I think everybody in the county (Monroe) knows who I am or have heard my name, so that saves me a lot of grief and time. We'll be fine," Slaughter said.
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