This Congressional Campaign cycle really is different from recent cycles. The passionate reaction to the 2016 campaign and election has motivated more to get involved politically. That groundswell has inspired more to become candidates to try to oust the current Republican incumbent.
Even though we now realize the difficulty our candidates have in receiving sufficient funding, there are important benefits in having multiple candidates running to be the nominee in November. As compared to the traditional campaigns with one candidate, we now have seven candidates with seven campaigns generating seven times the energy which:
- allows more contacts with businesses, industries, and constituents who have been, or will be, negatively impacted by the radical changes that we see in DC
- gets more social media chatter
- gets more organized events such as Meet & Greets, Forums, and straw polls, which have had good attendance and covered by district wide media
- gets more people involved with campaigning and
- gets the campaigns rolling earlier
The seven candidates will use more volunteers when passing their nominating petitions for the June 26 Primary Ballot. Each candidate will need to get at a minimum 1,250 signatures (probably a lot more), or more than 8,750 if all seven candidates are successful in getting on the ballot.
We can’t forget the grass-roots organizations that have sprung from the seeds of discontent which have had rallies and attended Rep. Reed’s Town Hall Meetings and district’s offices. They have organized efforts to contact our representatives by phone calls and letter/post cards. We have seen more and better letters to the editors than in other campaigns. One, YourNY23.org has created a social media campaign video. See their first video:
The NY-23rd is not the only New York Congressional District with a Republican incumbent who has multiple challengers.
Here is the list by Congressional District from Ballotpedia
- 01—Lee Zeldin, 6 Democrats (3 Males, 3 Females)
- 02—Peter King, 3 Democrats (2 M, 3 F)
- 11—Dan Donovan, 7 Democrats, (7 M) 1 Republican
- 19—John Faso, 6 Democrats (6 M)
- 21—Elise Stefanik, 9 Democrats (4 M, 5 F), 2 Republicans, 1 Libertarians, 1 Independent
- 22—Claudia Tenny, 1 Democrat, (1 M), 1 Republican
- 23—Tom Reed, 7 Democrats, (5 M, 2 F), 0 Republicans, 2 Independents
- 24—John Katko, 5 Democrats, (3 m, 2 F), 0 Republicans
- 27—Chris Collins, 5 Democrats, (4 m, 1 F), 3 Republicans (3 m)
On the other hand, out of the 18 Democratic incumbents six, Tom Suozzi (NY-3), Yvette Clark (NY-9), Adriano Espaihant (NY-13), Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Brian Higgins (NY-26) have an announced Republican opponent. Sean Maloney (NY-18) has two Republican opponents.
In conclusion, having multiple candidates is a natural response to the discontent felt by residents in GOP held Congressional Districts. I’ve not naive, funding is very important. NY-23rd-ers have organized ways to help the ultimate nominee: Donating to an Act Blue fund that would be placed in an escrow account which will be given directly to the winner of the June 26 Democratic Primary. Visit Act Blue for more information. You can also donate to the PAC Your NY23rd. (see Video above for an example of their work, or follow the link to their website.