U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson's visit to Binghamton Thursday in support of Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro drew protests.

Johnson was in town for the statewide Republican convention earlier in the day, later making a quick stop at the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.

In part, his visit was aimed at supporting Molinaro’s reelection bid in a seat that could shape the future of power in the GOP.

Protestors took issue with the move.

“Molinaro is a rubber stamp for this guy. Invites him in our backyard here in Binghamton. It's unacceptable. And Molinaro shows with his votes. He's not for the people of the 19th District,” said Ravo Root, community organizer for Citizen Action of New York.

Molinaro, speaking in support of the visit, said this could bring a new federal focus to the Southern Tier.

"Obviously, he's supportive of our efforts. Obviously, I welcome to the support. But what's most important is, is that there's a focus on communities like ours that makes a difference," said Molinaro.

Among the issues protestors spoke out about is what they’re calling the speaker’s lack of support for Ukraine.

"Republicans are botching all of these issues, and it's why we're here to say enough's enough. People need to stand up. And this is what democracy looks like,” said Root.

"They asked me very specifically, what will you tell the speaker? As soon as the speaker got here, I expressed to him again as he knew coming in, we had a robus vibrant Ukrainian community here in this part of the district. In the car ride over, I said to him, we've got to find ourselves closer to commonality," said Molinaro.

Spectrum News 1 tried to speak to Johnson, but he was not speaking to the media while in town.


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