I have heard questions and read rumors about who might be running against Rep. Tom Reed in the November 2018 election. Even though it is a bit more than 18 months away, we currently have FIVE potential democratic challengers to Rep. Reed!
The Democratic County Chairs have all met four of the other five. The fifth one recently decided to get in the race and was able to meet with a few Chairs last Sunday.
At least two challengers have said that they will officially announce their candidacy in May. I assume more will follow suit. The group has a wide range of experiences and varied backgrounds. I am not mentioned names, since that will take away from their announcement; this is what I feel I can tell you about them:
- All five Challengers are male.
- Two are from Tompkins County, one from Tioga, one from Steuben, and one from Chautauqua.
- Two are practicing Attorneys; one more has a law degree but is not a presently working as an Attorney. One is a small business owner and the other is a teacher.
- One is very active in Union activities. Another is retired from the Air Force. One has been elected to his Town Board. One was a teacher before he became an attorney.
- There are two “younger” candidates, one states that he is 28, the other turned 30 earlier this year.
If the 2018 political calendar is like the 2016 calendar, they will be passing petitions beginning in early March. If more than one candidate gets enough signatures on his petitions there will be a Primary Election in late June 2018.
We are now political science students. We will have about 13 months before the primary to learn about the people who might represent us in Washington. We need to decide which of these potential challengers to Rep. Reed will have the best chance to defeat him. We need to determine who were are comfortable with representing us. They will be traveling to all 11 NY 23rd Counties, and often. Contact your County Chair (Democratic County Chair contact information) and follow their social media feeds to find out when/where they will be your area.
Consider the following questions.
- How does where the candidate lives affect electability?
- How will having a Primary Election affect this election?
- What about political philosophies? We know that Bernie drew supporters from both the left and the right–will that work here?
- Can you support a candidate who opposes some traditionally Democratic views, i.e. Pro Gun Rights and/or Pro-Life?
- What are one or two the traits a candidate must have before you support him?
- How can local grass roots resistance groups do to support our candidate?
- How can you convince a non-voter to vote?
- What concerns do you have?
We are an important part of the process. Get involved. This is what Democracy Looks Like!