Did you see what happened in Florida?
After the Florida primary on Tuesday, when yet another underdog beat the assumed shoe-in candidate, it reminded me of when I ran for office the first time. I’d witnessed a powerful Legislator actually cross his arms and turn his back on some people who wanted to ask him about an incinerator project that was scaring them.
A few years later, in 2001, I told people I was going to run against my St. Lawrence County legislator. He’d done the same thing: turned his back on us. Most people told me I wouldn’t stand a chance against a powerful, well-funded and connected incumbent. I didn’t have the money he had. All I had was a map, my car, a few volunteers, and a lot of energy.
I spent months criss-crossing the county, knocking on as many doors as possible. It was my goal to visit every home in the county, but I know I missed a few. At one house, I survived a dog bite that put me in a cast for the rest of the campaign, but I didn’t let that or anything else dampen my will to win. And against all odds, I did win. I’d like to think my passion and service were recognized, because when I ran for re-election, I was unopposed.
My reasons for running for Congress are the same. The deck looks stacked now as it did in 2001. I am running against a powerful, well-funded and connected incumbent who has also turned her back on us. I don’t have the money she has. But I don’t have her history of voting against the best interests of the people she represents, either.
My map tells me the twelve counties of Northern New York’s 21st Congressional District are probably too big for me to knock on every single door. But that’s ok. There are more than 1,000 Republicans, Democrats, Progressives and people unaffiliated with any party, who have volunteered to work on my campaign because we all share a common goal: take back our government. We’re visiting homes in person, making phone calls and writing letters to get out the vote. The odds didn’t bother me then and they don’t worry me now. We’re going to beat the odds again. We’re going to win.
I hope you will join me in this amazing campaign to bring back the NY-21 Congressional seat to the people of the district. And when we win, I will be honored and humbled to be your Representative.