CORNING – Declaring that “something shifted in the last several years,” Democrat Tracy Mitrano officially launched her second bid to represent New York’s 23rd Congressional District. She formally announced her intention at an event in Corning Thursday evening.
Politicians “who used to represent the center of American politics have become puppets to big moneyed corporate interests,” said Mitrano, who is looking to unseat incumbent Republican Tom Reed. “In their pursuit of profit they do not care about our environment, all-consuming debt, separating children from their parents at the border, polluting the beautiful resources of our planet, predatory interest rates, failing infrastructure, the farmers in this district under water, literally and figuratively, the onerous tax burden on the middle class or the working poor who can’t make ends meet.”
Referring to “a cynical and corrupt president” and members of Congress who enable his chaotic administration, Mitrano observed that “this great country was founded against tyranny, a half-looped king and greedy Parliament that did not care about its colonialists. It was never meant to be ruled by a small group of rich and powerful people.”
Steuben County dairy farmer Tony Marco, a former Reed supporter, spoke on Mitrano’s behalf. The overflow crowd gasped when Marco described opening his monthly milk check and finding a letter listing resources for farmers contemplating suicide. After years of being politely ignored by Reed and other Republicans he had supported in the past, Marco reached out to Mitrano during the 2018 Democratic primary. He now calls her a friend.
“She cares about me,” said Marco. “Me. A person with no significant economic or social status … who is not even a Democrat and could not vote for her in the primary.” To Marco, that proved Mitrano “cares about all of the people she will represent, no matter what their political beliefs are.”
Steuben County legislator Steve Maio also spoke in support of Mitrano as “somebody who’s not going to have to check with somebody else to find out what’s right and what’s wrong to do. Not what Mitch McConnell thinks is right. Not what Donald Trump thinks is right. What Tracy Mitrano thinks is right, and that is going to be driven by what’s in the best interests of the people of this district.”
Other speakers included Rick Gallant, a teacher and board member of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), and Dora Leland, a teacher, NYSUT member and chair of Chemung County Democrats. The event was hosted by Corning City Democrats and the Mitrano campaign.
Mitrano has spent the months since the 2018 race traveling around the district, which spans New York state’s Southern Tier from Chautauqua County to Tioga County. By talking to residents, she gained more insight into the way federal policy affects them, for better or worse.
“No matter our circumstances or backgrounds, we are far more alike than we are different,” she said. “We all want the same things: to be safe from foreign and domestic threats, to have freedom with responsibility, the opportunity to thrive, to care for our families, to contribute to our communities.”
Mitrano pledged to:
- Pursue an aggressive, research-based response to the climate crisis
- Fight for universal, affordable healthcare, including mental health services and prevention of and treatment for addiction
- Address student debt by leveling interest rates Support women’s reproductive rights and combat sexual assault and domestic violence
- Fight for reasonably priced child-care
- Push for sensible immigration reform
- Support resources for infrastructure for extreme weather events, safe roads, public transportation and broadband Internet
- Work to get corporate interests and dark money out of politics, including repeal of the immunity to civil suits Congress gave gun manufacturers and sellers
- Lead House efforts to protect national security through cybersecurity, and the rights of both citizens and consumers who use the Internet
She also said she would oppose raising taxes on working- and middle-class people, and to lower the deficit “by making sure that the wealthy pony up.”
“These are my promises,” Mitrano said, “and if I don’t live up to them, vote me out!”
PHOTO CREDIT: Molly Cagwin