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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Feb 21, 2022 11:03 am

Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 19th and 20th Congressional seats in New York. Current Democrat Reps. Antonio Delgado and Paul Tonko vote with the positions of President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to the fivethirtyeight.com website. Click here to listen to this report.

Maury Thompson reports in The Post-Star that Liz Lemery Joy is once again running for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Paul Tonko in the 20th Congressional District, which includes Albany County. Joy won the GOP nomination in 2020, and lost to Tonko in the general election in a district that then included the cities of Albany and Troy, and voted for Joe Biden by 20 points. The new district lines, however, move parts of Albany County into the 19th Congressional District, and Biden would have won this area by 17.3 points. “Right now, most Americans do not believe that there is a strong future,” Joy said. “We now have a climate in our country where more people are politically engaged than they were in 2020,” she said. Congressional off-year elections, however, never draw more voters than in presidential election years. Joy says what is different this year is more potential support from national Republicans in this local race. The National Republican Congressional Committee has designated the district as “top-targeted race” this year, Joy says. “That did not happen in 2020.” What did happen in 2020 is that Joe Biden was elected president, a fact that Joy won't exactly say. Joy said that if she had been in office on Jan. 6, 2020, she would have voted against certifying the election. “Joe Biden is the president — period,” Joy said. “But I do believe there was massive voter fraud in our 2020 elections. And we have to get it right before we have the 2022 election.” Joy said on Twitter she attended the rally Jan. 6 in Washington D.C. that preceded the coup attempt. Joy said she rode on a bus chartered to take people from the Capitol Region to the rally before the riot. Joy Tweeted that day that, "Hundreds of thousands of people attended today’s rally to stand for Election Integrity." So far, Joy, a 53-year-old who lives in Schenectady, is the only Republican running in the June primary election. Read more about this story in The Post-Star.

Maury Thompson reports in the Post Star that Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam who represents Albany County and the rest of the 20th Congressional District, has a lot more campaign cash heading into 2022 than his Republican opponent. Tonko had $1.05 million in his campaign fund on Dec. 31, when the last reporting period ended. Republican challenger Liz Lemery Joy of Schenectady, who the story calls "a former blogger and public speaker," had $163,022 in her campaign fund, as of Dec. 31. Tonko raised $782,402 in contributions in 2021, including $73,220 in small dollar contributions. Joy raised $316,879 in 2021, but beat Tonko with $151,751 in small dollar contributions. Read more about this story in the Post Star.

The Cook Political Report released its latest ratings of competitive elections Feb. 16, and Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat representing the 19th Congressional District, got good news with his new district being called "likely Democrat." Just to the south, Democrat Sean Maloney's 18th Congressional District is listed as "lean Democrat." To the north, Democrat Paul Tonko's 20th District, and Republican Elise Stefanik's 21st District are not listed as competitive races, as the incumbents are expected to win easily. Larry Sabato's House ratings for the University of Virginia's Center for Politics judges Maloney's 18th District as "lean Democrat," Delgado's 19th District as "likely Democrat" and calls both Tonko's and Stefanik's seats "safe."

Congress will be back in session Feb. 28.

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