Daily KOS on NY23rd: Twain, Star Trek, Gallant & Reed mentioned


mark-twain-1Our 2018 congressional race is now national atention from the Daily Kos in their today’s DAILY KOS ELECTION roundup. Of course it focuses more on Star Trek and Mark Twin than issues.



NY-23: Kapla, warriors! Over the weekend, Democratic Ulysses Town Board member John Hertzler announced that he would challenge New York GOP Rep. Tom Reed. Hertzler, often credited as “J.G. Hertzler,” is best known for playing the Klingon General Martok on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as well as several other characters on different Star Trekseries. (He also co-wrote two good novels about Martok set after DS9ended.) However, while Hertzler says he will campaign in character, he will not be going around this upstate New York seat devouring Gagh, chugging Blood Wine, or confronting trackers with a bat’leth.

Instead, Hertzler says he’ll be “making appearances thoughout [sic] the district of 11 counties, sometimes in my birth persona as JG Hertzler and at other times I will endeavor to present my ideas and policies through the brilliant humorist for all ages, Citizen Twain.” Indeed, Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens) used to live in Elmira, which is located in the 23rd Congressional District. Hertzler also says his campaign is both a “valentine” to both Twain and to actor Hal Holbrook, who portrayed Clemens for over 60 years in a one-act show and also played Clemens in a two-parter on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

This seat, which includes blue Ithaca but is surrounded by more conservative counties, has been an elusive target for Democrats. Back in 2012, Reed pulled off a shockingly close 52-48 win in a race that attracted little attention at the same time as Romney was carrying this upstate seat 50-48. National Democrats tried to target Reed over the next two cycles, but the 2014 GOP wave and Trump’s 2016 55-40 win helped him decisively prevail both times. Democratic teacher Rick Gallant, a former member of the New York State United Teachers Board of Directors, entered the race last month. Presumably, Gallant will campaign only as Rick Gallant. We also assume that he won’t be challenging Hertzler to any duels to the death, but you never know.

While Gallant looks like a much more serious Democratic candidate, it’s unclear if he’ll have the resources to run a serious campaign. The 23rd is a tough seat, but if Reed, who was an early and ardent Trump supporter, looks vulnerable, Democratic leaders probably would prefer not to have Mark Twain as their nominee. General Martok may be another story: Say what you will about him, but Tom Reed would have a tough time portraying him as weak on Changeling terrorism.

In case you were wondering Hertzler is a registered Democrat.

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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12 Responses to Daily KOS on NY23rd: Twain, Star Trek, Gallant & Reed mentioned

  1. whungerford says:

    Playing it straight hasn’t worked yet; maybe Mark Twain would. Would Tom ignore him, ridicule him, or what? Tom is a pretty good actor himself–remember his “Tom on the job” campaign.


  2. Rynstone says:

    If the Democrat Party was serious about replacing Congressman Tom Reed they would jump behind a Conservative candidate to challenge Tom Reed in a primary. A properly funded GOP primary would benefit a good Democrat candidate. Of course if the Democrats ran a fiscally conservative candidate who believed in a less bureaucratic smaller Constitutionally limited government they would do much better at the polls. Like JFK


  3. whungerford says:

    Democrats can’t vote in a Republican primary if there were one. A Republican primary is unlikely as long as conservatives are satisfied with Tom Reed.


  4. David Eric Cummins says:

    There are two other candidates as well: Eddie Sundquist of Jamestown and Ian Golden of Ithaca. Not sure if they’ve made their candidacies “official” yet, but both already have campaign websites up and running.


  5. pystew says:

    Reed would love a primary. Donors can give $2700 per election, and a primary, special election, run off election, and general elections are all considered to be separate elections.
    See: Federal Election Commission’s brochure.


  6. pystew says:

    Thanks for pointing that out. Sundquist, Gallant, and Hertzler have filed with the FEC as of today. I can not find Golden’s campaign website. Please share the link with us. I know his annoucement was in the Ithaca papers.

    There are atleast two more who have said they are running, but I will not print their names officially announce, or have a newspaper article where they confirm they are running. (I don’t check the newspapers daily, so if you see articles about other candidates, please let me know.

    This is going to be a long campaign. If there is going to be a Democratic Primary it should be in June, 2018.

    The following link will take you to the FEC’s NY23rd page: https://www.fec.gov/data/candidates/?office=H&district=23&cycle=2018&state=NY


  7. whungerford says:

    If Reed would welcome a primary, why has he taken care to challenge the nominating petitions of prospective opponents?


  8. whungerford says:

    Contact: unpurchasedpolitics@gmail.com
    Website: http://www.GoldenAgeOfPolitics.com
    Facebook: Golden Age of Congress


  9. pystew says:

    Thanks for the information.


  10. Rynstone says:

    Of course Democrats and Blanks (registered voters who think they are registered to an imaginary & non-existent “Independent Party” ) can’t vote in a Republican primary. What you fil to realize is that many fiscal small government Conservatives Republicans and Conservatives think Congressman Reed’s voting record is not conservative. Tom Reed could be defeated in a primary with a good conservative candidate, enough campaign volunteers and enough campaign money. Campaign volunteers and campaign money donors do not need to be registered Republicans.


  11. Rynstone says:

    Trust me, Congressman Reed does not want a primary. No incumbents want a primary. That is why primaries are more important than general elections.


  12. whungerford says:

    Reed would have the same advantages as the incumbent in a primary as in the general election. Only a very attractive and well funded conservative would stand much chance. Reed certainly is a moderate Republican. Of course the Conservative party could nominate a candidate, but they have not.

    There are some limits on what persons who are not party members can do–I believe circulating petitions is one such.


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