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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Jul 08, 2023 6:03 pm

Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Congressional seats in New York. Democrat Pat Ryan is representing the 18th Congressional District, Republican Marc Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko represents the 20th District, and Republican Elise Stefanik represents the 21st District. Click here to listen to this report.

Luke Parsnow reports in New York State of Politics that the Hudson Valley will be featured prominently nationally during the Congressional elections next year, as Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2022 by flipping several Hudson Valley districts from Democrats. On July 5, one former representative, Mondaire Jones, announced he will try an unseat Republican Rep. Mike Lawler in New York's 17th Congressional District. Jones said on social media, “I’ve never been Washington’s choice. It’s because I stand up to corruption.... I battle with Republicans trying to overthrow our democracy and ban abortion, even as I push my party to fight harder for working people. I’m running to finish the work I began.” Jones was elected to the former 17th District in 2020. But after redistricting, Democrat Sean Maloney switched from the 18th to the 17th District, which he lost, and Jones ran in the 10th District, losing the Democratic primary to Dan Goldman. In a statement, a spokesperson for Lawler criticized Jones with the same attacks that won Republicans elections in 2022, saying Jones "supports the defund the police movement and New York's disastrous cashless bail law, and voted for the reckless spending that saddled us with record high inflation." Read more about this story in New York State of Politics.

Jeff Coltin reports in City and State that Democrat Josh Riley announced on July 6 that his campaign for the 19th Congressional District nomination raised over $775,000 in the first fundraising quarter. Riley lost to Republican Marc Molinaro in the 2022 election for the Congressional seat, one of the districts in New York where Republicans flipped control from Democrats. Riley released his fundraising totals ahead of the July 15 federal filing deadline. Earlier in the year, from January to March, Molinaro raised $494,000 and transferred in another $145,000. Much of Molinaro's fundraising came from corporate political action committees such as MetLife, Honeywell, and Pepsi, while Riley is not taking donations from corporate PACs. The New York Post first reported that at least two political action committees have sent fundraising emails from former Senator Al Franken, asking for donations to Riley’s campaign. And while Riley raised money with Franken's help, so did Molinaro, sending out a letter asking for donations because, “We can’t allow disgraced Hollywood elites like Al Franken to interfere in our elections.” In the 2022 election Riley outraised Molinaro $4.2 million to $2.5 million, with another $3 million in outside spending, split roughly evenly between the two candidates. Read more about this story in City and State.

Mid-Hudson News reports that Ulster County is getting new voting machines. The Ulster County Board of Elections will buy the machines from Hart Intercivic. The board of elections released a statement saying, “Hart Intercivic stands out as an all-American made voting solution with a forward-thinking vision to make our elections more accessible and accountable. Their commitment to innovation, security, and voter satisfaction aligns seamlessly with our goals of maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the electoral process in Ulster County.” And while Republicans across the country have denigrated the integrity of voting machines by several different companies, Republican Commissioner John Quigley is in favor of the Hart Intercivic machines, saying, “Their proven track record and dedication to producing cutting-edge voting solutions give us the confidence that we have made the right choice for the voters of Ulster County.” Read more about this story at Mid-Hudson News.

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