A candidate for the 22nd Congressional District seat currently held by Claudia Tenney was in Utica on Tuesday.

Heath Phillips, a Democrat from Cortland County, will challenge Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi in a primary.

He held a news conference at the offices of the group No Hospital Downtown.  Phillips says he's against the proposed Downtown Utica hospital project.

Phillips says when most of the people he's talked with are opposed to the hospital, that quote -- "Kind of weighs heavy on me."

The Congressional election will take place in 2018.

Today's visit by Heath Phillips isn't sitting well with one local elected leader.

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says he was shocked and disappointed to learn that a candidate for Congress, who is not from Utica, came to the city to announce his opposition to a local project without initiating any communication with his office.

Palmieri says If this lack of communication and professional courtesy is how Phillips is going to run his campaign, it is not a positive sign or indication of how he would represent us in Congress.

The mayor also says given these facts, he believes it will be very difficult for Phillips to garner support in the community.

More From WIBX 950