Local businessman and attorney George Mitris announced his bid for Congress on Monday morning. Mitris, a Republican, will be running for the 25th Congressional District seat, currently held by Democrat Joe Morelle. This will be Mitris' first run for public office.
Mitris said that mitigating the effects of lakeshore flooding is one of his top priorities.
"To fight for people who live along the lakeshore whose homes and businesses have been damaged by the lake flooding," he said standing outside in the snow and ice at Ontario Beach Park. "To work with the IJC (International Joint Commission), and to bring the resources of Congress to bear to compensate them and to fix the problem."
Mitris said that he also plans to focus on the Rochester City School District.
"To make sure that they get the education they deserve, to work with Mayor Lovely Warren, to work with (Assemblyman David) Gantt and anybody else to make sure that the education system does not continue to fail them," he said.
Gantt announced he will not seek re-election on Feb. 7.
Former Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini says that he will be working with Mitris develop his platform. Assini also ran for that congressional seat twice before, losing both times to Louise Slaughter.
"I've been asked to be the policy consultant on the campaign and I'm honored to do that," Assini said. "I'll be working with George on different issues and doing as much research as I can for him."
Mitris said that he will also fight for the "American Dream" for citizens; something he says is close to home as both he and his wife immigrated to the U.S. from Greece and Macedonia, respectively.
"I'm an immigrant I understand what it means to be looking for a sanctuary and America should continue to do that," he said.
He added that for him, this welcome does not extend to those who do not, as he put it, "wish us good."
Assini, who is slated to advise Mitris on policy, said that the issue of immigration for him, means taking a harder stance.
"Why is it that we've had people that have been deported multiple times deal drugs and murder people?" he said.
"For people to criticize ICE and Border Patrol from trying to prevent these murders from happening, these horrific crimes from happening, I have to take a step back and say, 'what about the victims? What about all the dead people?' " he added.