Max Della Pia, the lead Democratic candidate seeking to challenge Rep. Tom Reed (R., N.Y.), was caught plagiarizing parts of his campaign website from a failed 2017 Democratic congressional candidate.
The Buffalo News discovered Friday that large parts of Della Pia's campaign website are "lifted, word for word in many cases, from the website of Jon Ossoff, a Democrat who lost a special House election in Georgia last year."
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Ossoff's website, for example, declared "Jon will defend equal pay for equal work and fight any effort to allow wage discrimination against women or minorities."
Della Pia's website likewise claimed "Max will defend equal pay for equal work and fight any effort to allow wage discrimination against women or minorities."
Both websites claim that "It’s time to move beyond the tired, partisan debate over health care policy, agree on some basic principles, and solve problems," and that they both know how "to grow a company, meet a payroll, and balance budgets."
When asked for comment, Della Pia's spokeswoman told the Buffalo News that the identical language was the fault of a campaign volunteer who "sampled heavily" from Ossoff's website, but did not name the volunteer. The policy areas on Della Pia's website are now password-protected and cannot be viewed by the public.
Della Pia is the most likely candidate to face off against Reed in November after an extremely close primary election last Tuesday. Della Pia leads the five-man race by only 26 votes, and a victor will not be declared until the roughly one thousand absentee ballots are fully counted.