There’s less than a week remaining before Democrats in Chautauqua County and across the 23rd Congressional District go to the polls to choose a candidate to run against incumbent Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) in November.
The 2018 Democratic Primary will take place on Tuesday, June 26 with polls open from noon to 9 p.m. with five candidates seeking the party’s nomination.
While all the candidates have spent most of their time sharing their thoughts and views on pressing issues, as well as heaping criticism on Congressman Reed, they’ve also spent time going after each other.
Mitrano is viewed by some as the primary race’s front-runner, largely due to her success in various unofficial straw-poll events during the campaign as well as her acquiring the most signatures on her ballot petition.
But with the perceived front-runner status comes increased focus and criticism. During a League of Women Voters’ Meet the Candidates forum in Mayville earlier this year, Mitrano fended off attacks related to her primary residence (she has purportedly said she is from both Penn Yann and Ithaca while campaigning), whether or not she’ll remain in the race if she loses the Democratic primary (she’s also received the endorsement of the Working Families’ party and is the only candidate on the Women’s Equality party ballot), and she was asked about not filing her campaign finance disclosure statements on time.
Last week Mitrano was criticized again, this time by the Democratic Committee Chair of Cattaraugus County Frank Puglisi, who said she is misleading her way through the primary and saying it is disqualifying to her candidacy. Mitrano’s campaign responded by saying, in part, ” It is unfortunate that a Democratic chair would go so far as to use antiquated language in dismissing a woman frontrunner with Tracy’s experience and background as ‘disqualified’ to run for Congress.”
This week, Mitrano found herself yet again in the cross-hairs, this time by fellow candidate Sundquist, who sent out a media release criticizing her for a recently filed public documents indicating she sold a home Massachusetts that had been recorded as her primary residence.
“Legal documents indicating Ms. Mitrano’s residence as Massachusetts while also claiming a primary residence in New York, and receiving a tax benefit, raise significant questions and serious legal ramifications,” said the Sundquist release.
Mitrano’s campaign responded by saying that she did own property in Massachusetts will working at UMass so she would have a place to stay when she was not working remotely from her homes in New York. When she sold that property, she signed a series of legal documents and one included a parenthetical clause about primary residence being Massachusettes, which she said she didn’t see and inadvertently signed off on it. She has since contacted an attorney in Massachusetts to file an amended document.
“This political attack seeks to challenge Tracy’s primary residence and her 2017 NY Star exemption. It’s hard to believe that a week before the primary, campaigns are choosing to spend their time going through years of paperwork hunting for clerical errors,” Mitrano’s campaign said in its statement.
Again, the Democratic Primary for congress will take place next Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. Any registered Democrat in the district is eligible to participate.
On Thursday, June 21 at 5 p.m. during WRFA’s Community Matters program, we’ll broadcast a series of recent interviews we did with each of the five candidates. An encore of the program will also be broadcast at Noon on Sunday, June 24.