“Democrats need to get a candidate soon!! I for one am ready to work. I just wish we had a front runner so we could start working …. it’s an uphill trek we are embarking on and we may as well get busy!!!” Alex Smith, a NY 23rd constituent, recently on a New NY 23rd Facebook posting.
Alex’s quote expresses the feelings of many in the NY 23rd. We have gone through four sets of Town Halls since the inauguration. (The 5th one will be June 3). Many participated in The Washington Women’s March, or local marches on the day after. There has been countless demonstrations at Reed’s offices throughout the district and other venues. There have been county resolutions urging Rep. Reed to support different issues brought forth by upset constituents. There have been letters, phone calls, emails and tweets to Rep. Reed’s offices. We are ready to work for a candidate.
We have heard rumors of possible candidates, even some names have been floating around. The fact is that only two have officially filed with the Federal Election Commission: Eddie Sundquist and Rick Gallant. Ian Golden has not filed with the FEC, but had a newspaper article announcing his candidacy. I have included links to their newspaper articles and political websites at the end of this article. Other possible candidates have made serious steps towards running, and I will publish information them when they file with the FEC, or have campaign newspaper articles or campaign websites. I expect they will announce within a month.
There is a good the possibility that there will be a Democratic Primary to determine who will be the party’s nominee. The 2012 campaign was the first after the 2010 census realignment of congressional elections. The realignment wasn’t official until March. The democrats had three candidates who wanted to run against Rep. Reed–Nate Shinagawa, Leslie Danks Burke, and Melissa Dobson. They had three months to scurry around the district, connect with the Democratic Committees of eleven counties, and get their names known to the democratic voters. Shinagawa won the June primary. He then continued to criss-cross the district to get known well enough to get 48% of the vote against Reed!
This year the situation is a bit different, and it is to the challengers’ advantage. We have three (probably five) candidates who will have a year to make theirselves known around the district before the June 2018 Primary election. That’s 12 months of newspaper articles, parades, picnics, dinners, television/radio interviews, door to door campaigning and raising funds. That is 12 months of local democrats trying to decide who would be their best candidate. There will also be 12 months to scrutinize and make known Reed’s voting record.
After the June Primary the four month plus real campaign will begin. What makes it different this time is that the Democratic candidate’s name will be more recognizable than in the past two election cycles. The issues will be clear and the difference between the candidates well defined.
As Alex Smith said, “It’s an uphill trek we are embarking on.”
Defeating Rep. Reed will never be easy. He won his last election by 15%, and it takes a lot to convince those who have once voted for a candidate to change their minds. He will call his top donor industries–Securities & Investments, Insurance, and Gas & Oil and they will be happy to drop bundles at his feet. He will have his party base faithfuls. He will have his personal attacks planned and placed on traditional and social media. In the past he has used fake websites, fake Facebook pages, and fake Twitter accounts. He has had Team Reed organized at debates to ridicule his opponent. This will not be pretty.
The army of activists need to remain diligent throughout the campaign–feet on ground, knocks on the doors, and flood social media with facts and issues. Remember what Michelle said, “When they go low, we go high.”
Here is information about our current candidates. They all have Facebook pages. Check social media accounts.
Eddie Sundquist is an attorney in Jamestown. Follow this link to his website.
Ian Golden owns small businesses in Ithaca and other areas. Follow this link to a Newspaper article about his campaign.
Google periodically to see newer articles about these other candidates. You can set up Google Alerts for candidates you want to follow.