UTICA Congressman John McHugh announced today that he received a critical endorsement from the Executive Committee of the New York State Independence Party. Members of the Independence Party's Executive Committee met to lend their strong endorsement to Congressman McHugh's re-election effort for his ninth term in the House of Representatives. "Since first being elected to Congress in 1992, I have had one top priority: serving the residents of the 23rd District to the best of my ability. From fiscal responsibility, responsible tax policy, and limited government to ensuring our children have an education system that sets them up for success, what I am working for in Congress aligns with the ideals and goals of the Independence Party," said Congressman John McHugh. "Additionally, my role on the Armed Services Committee continues to grow, and I look forward to continuing to support our troops and Fort Drum at this critical point in our nation's history. I am very proud to receive the endorsement of the Independence Party and look forward to continuing to work together as we approach the November elections." "Congressman McHugh has been a proven leader on the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and has an outstanding chance of becoming the highest ranking New Yorker in 60 years to serve on the Committee. During his tenure on the committee, Mr. McHugh has developed a tremendous expertise in crucial areas including military appropriations, national defense and weaponry," said Kristen Shaheen, Chair of the Oneida County Independence Party. "Mr. McHugh has also been a leader for Upstate New York. He understands the importance of reducing taxes. He has worked diligently to promote the Upstate economy and has been a real friend to important economic development projects in both Northern and Central New York. We lend our strong support to Congressman McHugh's candidacy." Congressman John McHugh was born in Watertown, New York, and has dedicated his life to public service including serving in the New York State Senate for eight years. The 23th Congressional District is comprised of all or part of 11 counties in Northern and Central New York, including Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Fulton, Oneida, and Madison. Independence Party and non-affiliated voters in the 23rd Congressional District total nearly 97,000 votes according to the New York State Board of Elections. Independence Party voters will be a significant role in determining the outcome of the 2008 General Election.