The long campaign is starting


“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.



Rick Gallant is a teacher in Corning.  Follow these links to see a newspaper article  and   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.



About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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3 Responses to The long campaign is starting

  1. Alex Smith says:

    The struggle we face is with the voters. And please don’t take this as a blanket statement about all voters. I worked on the Jason Perdue campaign last election and we went old school and called voters to discuss his candidacy. A LOT of them clearly stated they were voting for the incumbent simply because they knew his name and he had already held the office. They hadn’t done research. They didn’t attend meet and greets. The voters HAVE to want change. They are going to have to do more than just be comfortable, and that’s scary!! I learned a lot last election season and I truly believe to win this fight the democratic candidate and his/her team is going to have to spend a LOT of time on the ground educating the voters!!


  2. whungerford says:

    There are some new considerations–President Trump, health care, and Republican control of Congress which may make it difficult for Tom to run against Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama rather than defending his record.


  3. PRESS RELEASE: From the Committee to Elect JG Hertzler to Congress in the 23rd District of NYS.

    After 50 years as a Democrat residing in Pennsylvania, Wash. DC, California and New York…I have now officially changed my party affiliation to “none of the above.” I am now officially an “Independent” although the specific change does not take effect until after the election this November. I am running to repeal and replace Tom Reed in the 23rd District of NY and I am running independent of party talking points, independent of party machinery, independent of static ineffective messaging, independent of party restriction. My positions, my beliefs, regarding the state of the body politic in America is based on what I have been educated to believe America stands for…a government of the People, by the People and for the People. I am not running for lobbyist agendas, Wall Street money, super-pac influence…all that Tom Reed and his disturbingly close relationship with Trump ….
    Firstly, I am for introducing the idea of SINGLE PAYER health insurance like Medicare, which is the single most efficient and cost effective form of health insurance currently available in America. They say it’s a lost cause but I stand with Clarence Darrow who spent his life fighting for lost causes, such as civil rights, due process, union representation, freedom of speech and association. He spoke of his life this way…”Lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for.”
    Secondly, I believe in instituting an APOLLO-sized program to combat climate destruction before the climate destroys us. The APOLLO program, empowered by President Kennedy to take America to the Moon, created millions of new jobs within new technologies to get America to the Moon and back within one decade. A similar Climate protection program and resultant New Energy Movement will create the potential of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new, well paying and important jobs for Americans.
    The third major pillar for my campaign regards our involvement in the Middle East, be it Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, etc. After 70-80 years of political and military meddling and at least 17 years of open combat leaving hundreds of thousands dead and perhaps millions wounded, have we brought freedom, democracy, social change, civil rights, educational opportunity, or even a reduction of the nearly unending internecine wars among the people of the Middle East? Have we eliminated terrorism? Have we caused former enemies to become our trusted allies? What have we accomplished? What are we doing there? We are spending trillions of dollars occupying the homelands of ancient peoples and forcing our culture and our institutions upon them, who do not accept any of it. As President and former General Dwight David Eisenhower concluded in his farewell address to the nation in 1961, America must beware of the “Military Industrial Complex” lest that complex lead our great land into endless war and unwinnable conflict for the sake of one thing…profit… not freedom. Trillions of dollars are being spent on waging war in the Middle East, while bankrupting our own economy so we cannot “afford” to combat Climate Change, we cannot afford universal Health Care, we cannot afford to pay our public school teachers, or our local police, or our nurses a decent wage.
    These are some of the major issues representing my foundational beliefs in American policy. I realize that they are fitfully complex requiring complex solutions, not bumper-sticker-slogans. But if we cannot muster the political will of Congress to even consider new thought and new solutions, nothing will change, no one will prosper except the super-rich, nothing will grow; and in a timespan much shorter than we might imagine, we will have torn down our “shining city on the hill” and replaced it with a “shining gated-community on the hill surrounded by a Golden Wall” to keep out the impoverished-masses commonly known as…The American People.
    I am a candidate for Congress because America is my cause. I cannot sit-by any longer and watch as Government of the People becomes just another lost cause. We have to win.


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