PENN YAN – The Democrat who was defeated by Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) in this year’s General Election is giving some advice to anyone who decides to run in 2020.
Candidate Tracy Mitrano held her final conference call with regional media on Wednesday morning, taking time to thank all the supporters who helped her during her run for office, as well as reflect on her campaign, which began over a year earlier and included a competitive primary race against four other Democrats, as well as the campaign against congressman Reed.
Mitrano says anyone wanting to run should begin their effort as soon as possible to build support from within the district. But in addition, she said hiring a PR person or firm is something that will be needed.
“In three debates, I couldn’t engage with Mr. Reed in any reasonable conversation about policy whatsoever. And obviously he has been successful in running a campaign that is about division. That traffics in antagonism and that grossly mischaracterized me and my positions,” Mitrano said. “I do think it would take professional public relations to know how – and right at the start – to be able to move in the direction that would automatically, throughout the course of a campaign, know how to counter those types of attacks.”
Mitrano said that she was mischaracterized by the Reed campaign throughout the race, especially when it comes to the issue of heroin injection sites, claiming she was asked that question early in the campaign by someone who was involved with the Reed campaign in an effort to get her to say something that could be used against her. Mitrano added that she never made heroin injection sites part of her campaign platform, but did say that when it comes to addressing overdoses and death caused by the opioid epidemic, all options need to be on the table for discussion and even consideration.
Mitrano also didn’t rule out an effort in the future to seek office again. She said for the short term she will is looking forward to spending time with her family, which includes her son’s upcoming wedding, as well as pursuing any professional opportunities that may unfold in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Reed announced Wednesday that he plans to retire the “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” label his campaign has been using for the past few elections against his Democratic opponents.
Though a majority of his opponents have not resided in Ithaca, known for its liberal ideologies, Reed has used the “extreme” line in his last three general elections. Reed said he decided to retire the label after listening to his constituents.
Reed won more than 53 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s general election.