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Koons relaunches campaign for NY-21

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Lucas Willard
/
WAMC
Republican candidate Lonny Koons in Saratoga Springs

A Republican who suspended his bid for New York’s 21st Congressional District seat after being accused of illegally filling out nominating petitions is rebooting his campaign.

Lonny Koons, who is seeking to challenge incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik, said he’s jumping back into the race in part because he’s the “only” Republican candidate who “truly” lives in the newly-drawn 21st District. 

Stefanik, whose home is less than a mile from the district border, lives in Saratoga County – a county that is located entirely within the new 20th District.

Stefanik, the House GOP Conference Chair, is seeking a fifth term in the new 21st, which favors Republican voters. The new 20th District gives Democrats the advantage.

Koons withdrew in March after he was captured on video appearing to fill out election paperwork in his vehicle. At the time, Koons claimed he could not afford to continue his campaign.

In a statement to WAMC Saturday, Stefanik Senior Advisor Alex deGrasse said in part Koons “would have more than likely faced jail time had the fraudulent signatures been submitted.”

Koons has maintained he did not forge petition signatures.

Democrats Matt Putorti of Whitehall and Matt Castelli, a Saratoga County resident, are also running in the 21st District.

Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko, whose hometown of Amsterdam is included in the new 21st, is running for re-election in the new 20th, where he faces a challenge from Republican Liz Joy.

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