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Whitehall Lawyer Launches Challenge To Rep. Stefanik In NY-21

Matt Putorti
Facebook: Matt Putorti
Matt Putorti announced his bid for Congress in New York's 21st District Monday.

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik faces new competition for her seat in the 21st District. Democrat Matt Putorti, a lawyer from Whitehall, announced his candidacy for the 2022 midterms in a video on Twitter Monday morning.

"The community in Whitehall is the foundation of who I am," says Putorti. "I think it informs a lot of my desire to run for Congress." 

Putorti, a gay man, describes Whitehall as a "spaghetti dinner" town, in which residents host dinners and fundraisers to help their neighbors. He says Stefanik's politics threaten to divide such communities. 

Stefanik is a fourth-term Republican and strong ally of former President Donald Trump. She was recently elevated to the No. 3 Republican in the House, after Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney was ousted for objecting to Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election. 

In a statement, the Stefanik campaign called Putorti a “New York City lawyer” and far-left Socialist, adding: “Congresswoman Elise Stefanik works hard every day to successfully deliver results to the hardworking families of the North Country, especially our small businesses, manufacturers, farmers, seniors, veterans, and military families. She was just re-elected by the highest number of votes in the history of any North Country congressional candidate, earning support from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. She will continue to fight every day to ensure the North Country has a seat at the highest levels of government to make our voices heard."

The campaign dismissed another announced Democrat, Ezra Watson, in the same terms.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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