Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Who Will Run Against Reed?

Something we all have been wanting and waiting to figure out is who will challenge Tom Reed in 2018. Whoever the candidate is, s/he needs to begin raising funds now with the goal of getting as many small donors on board as possible. Big donors and PACs are great, but every small donation from a person in the 23rd is also a likely vote. These are the people we need to reach out to.

Reed's campaign is already well underway, having raised around $585,000. However, Reed's money is primarily NOT from small donors/local voters. The Ithaca Times did the math and discovered:

Tom Reed Fundraising Email"After a review of the latest FEC data on Monday, The Ithaca Times calculated from the reported $565,000 in receipts listed that the average donation this quarter was approximately $1,755 across a total of 324 various donors. Of those, 23 political action committees gave the maximum permissible quarterly contribution amount of $5,000 to his campaign, while more than 50 individuals gave the individual limit of $2,700 to the campaign. 43 donations totaled less than $1,000 and just one – from a Jamestown attorney – came in at less than $100."

Democrats and progressives of the 23rd are ready to get to work. The following message was sent to members of the region's Democratic Party Committees. If you are interested in stepping up, contact the chair of your County's Committee. Time to get the ball rolling.

"Hornell, NY - Democratic Party leaders from the eleven counties of New York’s 23rd congressional district held a preliminary meeting last week that included hearing from potential candidates expressing interest in running for Congress as Democrats in 2018. The meeting reinforced the unprecedented resolve demonstrated by the Democratic Party and newly formed progressive activist groups to remove Congressman Tom Reed from elected office, and to replace him with a leader who will work for the working people of the district.

Image result for democrats donkeySteuben County Chairman Shawn Hogan remarked, “The Chairs, Co-Chairs and State Committee representatives who attended said that they are in it to win it. We share the same goals as the activist groups, and we are aggressively reviewing all potential candidates.”

The 2016 election inspired a groundswell of citizen action to hold Congressman Reed accountable for his votes in Washington. While Reed claims that his election to office is a mandate for an extreme right-wing agenda, activist groups such as Citizens for a Better Southern Tier, Indivisible 23, NYPAN and Tompkins County Progressives are challenging that assumption as they give voice to under-represented constituent views. Democratic Party leaders expect that this progressive fervor will produce a field of competitive potential Congressional candidates with broad appeal to NY23 voters.

Chemung County Chairman Jim Carr described his Committee’s work to align with the recently formed groups, emphasizing that, “There are just so many people out there looking to learn what they can do.” Tompkins Chair Irene Stein also reported work being done in her area to coordinate activities of the Democratic Party and activist groups.

The solidarity between issues-oriented groups and election-focused groups is plain to see, as both groups express a goal of unseating Tom Reed. “It’s only right that our Congressman should represent all of us, but Tom Reed has shown time and again he works for special interests rather than for the people. It’s past time for a change,” said Cattaraugus County chairwoman Joyce Melfi-Cwiklinski.

Anyone interested in the office should call Tompkins County Chair Irene Stein at 266-7579. The Tompkins County Democratic Committee plans to hold an endorsement meeting when candidates have had time to declare their intentions. This will be a meeting open to all registered Tompkins County Democrats."


  1. Only 36 individuals (really only 35, because one donation listed as an individual was from a Native American tribe), in Reed's district of nearly 718,000 people contributed to his campaign this past quarter. Seems his preferred "silent majority" that he listens to is the $ he gets from corporations, PACS, and people living outside the district from as far away as Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas.

  2. Employees of Nextera, a Florida energy company, contributed a total of $23,500. I believe many listed as "individuals" have ties to special interests or lobbyists.