Utica, NY (WIBX) - Congressman Richard Hanna officially kicked off his 2012 campaign, with about four weeks left to election season.

He says he doesn't consider his October kickoff a late start, considering in June he defeated Tea Party candidate Michael Kicinski during the GOP primary.

"If we are late, compared to other candidates, I can't speak to that," Hanna said. "I do know that there have been races around us that have been running hot and heavy for  two or three months. We have not."

Since his victory in 2010, Hanna has hosted 42 public office hours and posted his voting explanations on his website.

He has also been one one of the most active newcomers to Congress, with five bills passed in the House and three signed by President Obama.

Gino Geruntino, WIBX

Hanna says he is already looking towards the future, and will continue invigorating Upstate New York if he wins.

"We need to make this a place that people can live and feel enthusiastic, and remove the malaise that I've seen over my community for many, many years," Hanna said. "We've watched this slow kind of creeping downturn. I think we've got opportunities to change that and I'm looking for them."

Hanna and his opponent, Democrat Dan Lamb, will participate in several debates leading up to the November 6 election.