FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2017
Hornell, NY – Democratic Party leaders from the eleven counties of New York’s 23rd congressional district held a preliminary meeting last week that included hearing from potential candidates expressing interest in running for Congress as Democrats in 2018. The meeting reinforced the unprecedented resolve demonstrated by the Democratic Party and newly formed progressive activist groups to remove Congressman Tom Reed from elected office, and to replace him with a leader who will work for the working people of the district.
Steuben County Chairman Shawn Hogan remarked, “The Chairs, Co-Chairs and State Committee representatives who attended said that they are in it to win it. We share the same goals as the activist groups, and we are aggressively reviewing all potential candidates.”
The 2016 election inspired a groundswell of citizen action to hold Congressman Reed accountable for his votes in Washington. While Reed claims that his election to office is a mandate for an extreme right-wing agenda, activist groups such as Citizens for a Better Southern Tier, Indivisible 23, NYPAN and Tompkins County Progressives are challenging that assumption as they give voice to under-represented constituent views. Democratic Party leaders expect that this progressive fervor will produce a field of competitive potential Congressional candidates with broad appeal to NY23 voters.
Chemung County Chairman Jim Carr described his Committee’s work to align with the recently formed groups, emphasizing that, “There are just so many people out there looking to learn what they can do.” Tompkins Chair Irene Stein also reported work being done in her area to coordinate activities of the Democratic Party and activist groups.
The solidarity between issues-oriented groups and election-focused groups is plain to see, as both groups express a goal of unseating Tom Reed. “It’s only right that our Congressman should represent all of us, but Tom Reed has shown time and again he works for special interests rather than for the people. It’s past time for a change,” said Cattaraugus County chairwoman Joyce Melfi-Cwiklinski.
Anyone interested in the office should call Tompkins County Chair Irene Stein at 266-7579. The Tompkins County Democratic Committee plans to hold an endorsement meeting when candidates have had time to declare their intentions. This will be a meeting open to all registered Tompkins County Democrats.
Val Brechko, Yates County
Jim Carr, Chemung County
Carolyn Elkins, Schuyler County
Norm Green, Chautauqua County
Shawn Hogan, Steuben County
John Hurley, Ontario County
Diane Lechner, Tioga County
Mike McCormick, Allegany County
Joyce Melfi- Cwiklinski, Cattaraugus County
Irene Stein, Tompkins County
Rich Stewart, Yates County