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Brindisi Challenges Tenney In 22nd Congressional District

Brindisi Campaign

The heat's turning up in the coming battle for New York’s 22nd Congressional District seat.

"We can't change Washington until we change our representative there."  That's 119th district Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi announcing his Congressional run Wednesday in downtown Utica.

"We want someone who understands health care and what it means to us, not someone who would strip 23 million Americans of their health insurance." The 38-year old Utica native, a Democrat, has been a member of the state Assembly since 2011.

In 2016, Republican Claudia Tenney, a former Assemblywoman herself, won the seat vacated by Richard Hanna, after the three-term Oneida County Republican retired.    "I wanna put an independent voice back in this district. A voice who shows up and stands up and gets things done. Ladies and gentlemen, I wanna be your congressman!"   Brindisi launched his bid with an attack on Washington.    "Sadly, some people believe that the politics of hate and fear are what make this country great again. Well, let me be clear, taking away health insurance for working families and giving big tax cuts to billionaires never created a single job in this town." 

Tenney’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment. She issued a statement to media outlets branding Brindisi a "slick politician who rubberstamped the failed liberal policies of Governor Cuomo."

That probably won’t deter him.   "So if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm applying for the job."

Brindisi isn't alone in applying: he becomesthe second Democratic candidate to enter the race after Binghamton University professor Patrick Madden, a computer scientist, tossed his hat in the ring last month. Madden positions himself as a “man of the people” in video on his campaign website. Here's an excerpt:   "In normal times I just keep doing what I do. I like my job. I like the people I get to work with. But these are not normal times. Washington has gone off the rails, and typical politicians are not going to fix the mess. If things are going to improve, we need some outsiders to step up. And so that's what I'm doing. I'm not part of the establishment or the political machine. I expect some pushback because there's always pushback against people like you and me."

Observers say this could be a "big money race" to watch as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of the House.

The 22nd Congressional District entails Oneida, Cortland, Chenango and Madison counties as well as parts of Broome, Herkimer, Oswego and Tioga counties.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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