Even though former Erie County Councilman Ebert Beeman has entered the race for Congress in the 16th District, his candidacy is not raising much concern among his opponents.    Beeman is running as a Libertarian against incumbent Republican Mike Kelly and Democrat Ron DiNicola.


Those who have been following Erie County Council over the years know Beeman.  They know him not just for his one year jail term for Social Security Fraud.   That conviction made him forfeit his seat.  But they also know him for his voting record while in that seat.  He was a staunch guardian of how taxpayer dollars should be spent.


Would that voting record on county council appeal this year to voters in the 16th Congressional District?   Or, would Beeman's trouble with the law make him a non-factor in November's election?

Erie News Now asked those questions to incumbent Congressman Mike Kelly. Kelly said he has heard of Beeman’s reputation on county council, but added that he doesn't know that much about it too pass judgment on him. 


Kelly said he does know that there is a process to get on the ballot for Congress, and Beeman apparently followed that process. Kelly said Beeman's message must have made sense to those who signed his petitions, and Kelly has no problem with anyone who wants to run for his seat.

Kelly said he does not know if Beeman, as a Libertarian, would take Republican votes away from him.


"People could ask that question, but I just heard this man is getting into the race.  I don't know.  I really can't answer that because I don't know.  He could say he's a Libertarian, but I don't know what policies he's embracing or what he's pushing forward. So, I really can't comment on that,” Kelly said.


No one with the DiNicola campaign could go on camera today but they issued this statement about Beeman:


“We can't control who gets into the race.  We remain focused on meeting the pressing needs of the 16th District and fixing a broken Washington.”