NY-21

NY-21: Cobb Drops Bid For Ballot Line

Democratic congressional candidate Tedra Cobb has dropped her bid to create an independent ballot line to run on amid a legal challenge from Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik.

“I want to thank the volunteer signature gatherers who, in a very short time frame, had over 3500 conversations with voters from every party affiliation as well as those who don’t identify with a party,” Cob said in a statement.

“We cannot overlook the fact that hundreds of volunteers have collected over 8800 signatures in support of my campaign. This proves the voters of Northern NY are ready for a representative who will choose problem-solving over partisanship. I am honored to have their support and I remain committed to bringing real North Country representation to Washington.”

Cobb’s campaign had sought to create the ballot line called CD21 Unites. New York’s election laws allows candidates to run on multiple ballot lines.

But Stefanik’s campaign had challenged the petition signatures for he ballot line. The Board of Elections ultimately found the Cobb campaign to be 343 signatures shy of the 3,500 needed to create the ballot line.

“The bipartisan New York State Board of Elections, after reviewing objections, found that Tedra Cobb did not have enough valid signatures to run on the ‘CD 21 Unites’ line,” said Stefanik campaign Communications Director Lenny Alcivar. “Congresswoman Elise Stefanik looks forward to appearing on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform Party ballot lines and to winning the election this November.”

NY-21: Stefanik ‘Thank You’ Campaign Ad Focuses On District’s Military Background

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik released a new Independence Day-themed campaign advertisement Tuesday honoring military men and women in New York’s 21st Congressional District.

The North Country district includes the U.S. Army base Fort Drum. Stefanik said she believes the community’s significant military history and service is what makes it special.

“To be able to represent a region that in its community, in our ethos, is serving an idea greater than one’s self,” she said in the ad. “I’m so proud to be the voice for such a patriotic and service-oriented community. The freedoms that we hold dear today are because of those in uniform who risk their lives and that’s pretty powerful and they deserve the strongest voice possible in Washington.”

Stefanik is seeking her third term in office and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. She is being challenged by former St. Lawrence County legislator and small business owner Tedra Cobb who handily won a Democratic primary last week in crowded field that included former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan.

Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn is also on the ballot.

NY-21: Ratigan Receives First Labor Endorsement

Democratic congressional candidate Dylan Ratigan on Tuesday was endorsed by IBEW Local 2032, his first labor nod in his bid for the party nomination in the 21st congressional district.

Ratigan, a former cable news anchor, is among a crowded field of Democrats seeking the nomination to run against Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik.

“Ratigan makes a strong case for how unfair free-trade deals of the last several decades have dealt a heavy blow to the 21st district’s manufacturing and local economies,” said Mike Brown, the local’s business manager.

“His business journalism background and strong knowledge of the financial system will make him a strong advocate for change to keep money in local communities, helping create jobs and greater economic health.”

The union primarily represents the employees of upstate facilities of the New York Power Authority.

Ratigan entered the race in February, a relatively late start given the growing field of Democrats.

“I’m happy and proud to get the endorsement of the IBEW local 2032,” he said. “For decades, working people of the 21st have been hit hard from our broken politics with bad trade deals, low wages, and deindustrialization. United in solidarity, we can fix this.”

NY-21: Ratigan Announces Bid For Congress

Former cable news host Dylan Ratigan launched on Wednesday launched his bid for the Democratic nomination in the North Country’s 21st congressional district, joining a crowded primary field to take on incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik.

Ratigan, a former anchor for CNBC and MSNBC, left TV in 2012 and has since started an agricultural business in the area. He’s originally from Saranac Lake and currently lives in Lake Placid.

“Being on the sidelines is no longer an option,” Ratigan posted to Twitter. “I dedicated myself to building Helical Holdings, for veteran-run farms & sustainable agriculture. I live true to values I learned growing up here.”

Ratigan is the highest profile name yet to join the race in the district, which has largely not popped up on the radar of races that are considered top-tier battlegrounds like the 19th district in the Hudson Valley or the 22nd district in the Mohawk Valley, represented by freshman Reps. John Faso and Claudia Tenney respectively.

The seat is generally considered a Republican one, but had previously been represented by Democrat Bill Owens from 2009 until his retirement in 2015. Before a round of redistricting in 2012, the area had been the site of a heated special election to fill the seat held by Republican Rep. John McHugh.

“I’m running for Congress, but I’ve never voted in my life,” Ratigan wrote on Twitter. “I always thought the choices available didn’t reflect the potential leadership for this country. I worked for truth via journalism, and small business via veteran run farms. I thought that was enough. I was wrong.”

The National Republican Congressional Campaign seized on Ratigan’s lack of a voting record and his having lived in New York City.

“It’s only fitting that Dylan Ratigan would move from New York City and the first vote he casts will be for himself,” said NRCC spokesman Chris Martin. “He’s a liberal talking head with no voting record, and now he’s running for Congress in a desperate grasp for relevance.”

NY-21: Dylan Ratigan Considers Bid For Congress

Former MSNBC host and Bloomberg executive Dylan Ratigan is weighing a bid for the 21st congressional district, he told Capital Tonight in a phone interview Thursday.

If he enters the race, Ratigan would be joining a crowded Democratic field in the sprawling North Country district seeking to run against Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, who is seeking a third term.

“I’m giving it serious consideration,” Ratigan said. “I prefer not to comment on a candidacy until I know for sure that I’m going to do it.”

Ratigan left MSNBC in 2012 and founded Helical Holdings, an agricultural company that networks hydroponic farms and works with veterans. Ratigan said he wanted to ensure his business would still prosper during a congressional campaign and that he would be able to find a “graceful separation from day to day responsibilities.”

The company directly employs a full-time staff of a half dozen, but said the firm has a wide ranging impact on agriculture and farming in the area.

Ratigan is originally from the district, having been born and raised in Saranac Lake. He now lives in Lake Placid. Ratigan said his family history in the North Country dates back to the 1700s.

“I have a deep understanding of the district,” he said. “My Uncle Pat is a priest who serve in the Iraq War both the first time and the second time.”

For now, Ratigan said he wants to meet with Democratic officials to discuss the potential candidacy.

“And I want to make sure my family is comfortable with the decision,” he said.

NY-21: Another Dem Joins Race

Democrat Ron Kim on Monday announced his bid for the congressional seat held by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik that encompasses much of the state’s North Country region.

Kim is a former commission of Public Safety in Saratoga Springs. He joins Patrick Nelson, a former state Assembly, in the announced Democratic field for the 21st congressional district.

A Glens Falls native, Kim lives in Queensbury. His announcement was first reported by The Times Union.

“As both a candidate and Congressman, I pledge to meet with every citizen of the 21st, listen to their voices and take action on those issues that are important to the freedom, prosperity and equality of all citizens,” Kim said in a statement. “We need to unite America and I will work towards this goal by ensuring that all voices are heard.”

Kim criticized Stefanik’s “continued refusal” to meet with voters on health care and her vote for the legislation to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“I am running for Congress because the residents of the 21st cannot tolerate Elise Stefanik’s continued refusal to meet with constituents on the fundamental right to healthcare and they certainly cannot afford her support of a healthcare law that would strip health insurance from almost 100,000 residents of the North Country,” Kim said. “Even Donald Trump called Stefanik’s support of this bill: ‘mean.’”

The 21st congressional district has been considered a swing seat for the last several election cycles. Stefanik was first elected in 2014.

Stefanik Backs Climate Change Reso On House Floor

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik on Thursday urged support for a GOP-backed climate change resolution, a similar version of which had been carried by now-former Rep. Chris Gibson.

“Along with 16 of my colleagues, I am proud to introduce a resolution calling on the House of Representatives to commit to working on economically viable solutions that address the threat of climate change,” Stefanik said in her remarks on the House floor. “Clean energy innovation is critical, and this resolution brings together the priority of addressing the risks of climate change with the importance of protecting and creating American jobs.”

In the resolution, lawmakers say it is a “conservative principle” to push for conservation and environmental stewardship.”

“No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we all have a significant responsibility to protect our environment from avoidable damage,” she said.

Stefanik represents the sprawling North Country House district which includes the Adirondack Park.

Stefanik Named To Leadership In NRCC

Newly re-elected Rep. Elise Stefanik announced Thursday she will become the next vice-chair for recruitment at the National Republican Campaign Committee.

The youngest woman ever elected to the House, Stefanik is also the first woman to lead recruitment at the NRCC.

“I am honored to be selected to this important position and thank Chairman Stivers for this opportunity,” Stefanik said. “It’s critical that we start recruiting talented candidates early this cycle so that we can grow our majority. I look forward to working with Chairman Stivers and all of my colleagues on the committee towards this effort.”

Stefanik was re-election to a second term in November, defeating Democrat Mike Derrick in the 21st congressional district.

“Congresswoman Stefanik has proven to be a hard-worker and dedicated to helping Members of the House Republican Conference,” said NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said. “I am confident she will recruit qualified and competitive candidates to run for Congress in 2018.”

NY-21: Gibson Endorses Stefanik

Outgoing Republican Rep. Chris Gibson on Thursday formally endorsed freshman Elise Stefanik’s bid for a second term in the 21st congressional district.

“I am proud to have worked with Elise Stefanik in Congress over the last two years,” Gibson said. “In that time I have seen firsthand the work ethic and fresh perspective she brings to Washington. She has been a true advocate for the North Country and the issues facing her region. I am happy to endorse her for re-election.”

Gibson, who retires at the end of this year, had previously represented a swath of the North Country before the 2012 reapportionment drew his district into the Hudson Valley. Stefanik was first elected in 2014, succeeding Democratic Rep. Bill Owens. She faces Democrat Mike Derrick this year.

Gibson had previously considered this year a run for governor in 2018, but ultimately dropped those plans to pursue a teaching post at Williams College.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of my friend and colleague Chris Gibson,” said Stefanik. “Whether its fighting for energy independence or supporting our military men and women, I’ve been honored to work Congressman Gibson, and with other members of the New York delegation on both sides of the aisle, to help deliver real results for our North Country families and businesses. I thank Congressman Gibson for his support, and for the support of every member of our grassroots network across the North Country who have joined our campaign to make Washington work for you.”

NY-21: Hanna Endorses Stefanik

Outgoing Republican Rep. Richard Hanna on Friday endorsed neighboring GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik’s re-election in the 21st congressional district.

“Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and I have worked closely on many important issues facing Upstate New York, including protecting Fort Drum,” Hanna said.

“Elise has proven herself to be a productive representative who focuses on always putting her constituents and their needs first. She is a pragmatic, hard-working member of Congress and an outstanding advocate for our region and state. I am pleased to support Elise’s reelection.”

Hanna, who is retiring after three terms, crossed party lines earlier this year and endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump. Similarly, Hanna has refused to endorse the Republican who wants to replace him in Congress, Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney.

Stefanik has been criticized by Democrats for saying she supports Trump’s campaign, though she has called on him to release his tax returns.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of my friend and colleague Richard Hanna,” said Stefanik. “I’ve been honored to work Congressman Hanna, and with so many other members of the New York delegation on both sides of the aisle, to help deliver real results for our North Country families and businesses. I thank Congressman Hanna for his support, and for the support of every member of our grassroots network across the North Country who have joined our campaign to make Washington work for you.”

Stefanik faces Democratic candidate Mike Derrick and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello in the North Country House district.