Luke Wochensky and his campaign for the New York State Assembly are issuing the following statement in advance of the “Red Tide Rising” Rally with Steve Bannon, planned for Elma on Wednesday evening.

In a sad turn of events, my opponent and his campaign team have been insulting voters in our region with the lie that violent protesters will stop at nothing to disrupt their rally in Elma this evening.

My supporters come from every imaginable political background, including a rare and impressive amount of support from Republican elected officials. David Dipietro is characterizing the working moms and dads, nurses, retail workers, teachers, farmers and retirees who are supporting my campaign as “radical leftists” who will show up as a masked mob to wreak havoc at this event. And local media outlets have reprinted his fact-free drama as truth.

As a first-time candidate and a proud American, I believe in the First Amendment and the right to free speech and peaceful assembly. My opponent has the right to invite Mr. Bannon to prop up his campaign. I wish them the best with their event.

My supporters and team will be knocking on doors in Aurora, Marilla, Elma and Warsaw this evening. Dozens more will be making phone calls and writing postcards in support of my campaign. I’m not a candidate who relies on gimmicks; I put my energy into hard work.

No one associated with my campaign in any way will be protesting at Mr. Bannon’s event. Any “protesters” who are at this event are more likely to be paid by Mr. Dipietro’s campaign.

The most troubling part of this entire situation is the pressure it has placed on the Jamison Road Volunteer Fire Department. I recognize that volunteer fire departments are reliant on public and community support. To that end, our campaign is sending a $250 donation to the Jamison Road Volunteer Fire Department in support of their vital efforts as first responders. I encourage the good people of Elma to do the same, as we all should for our local fire departments.