May 20, 2018 Articles, Press

Congressional hopeful hosts town hall in area

“Cobb’s priorities for the 21st District include protecting rural healthcare to save local jobs and preserve access to vital services; promote environmental policies that boost the economy while creating jobs, and making higher education across the state more competitive in the global marketplace.”

Maureen Werther
The Saratogian
May 20, 2018

GREENWICH, N.Y. >> As primary season in New York’s 21st Congressional District begins to heat up, the field of candidates on both the Republican and Democratic sides is crowded. Democrats currently have five candidates in the running. Don Boyajian recently dropped out of the congressional race to run for a seat in the State assembly instead.

That still leaves a large field of candidates to chose from, come primary day. One of those candidates, Tedra Cobb, from St. Lawrence County, is steadily making a name for herself in what is the largest geographical district in the state and one of the largest districts in the East.

Cobb held an informal town hall meeting Wednesday night at the Burton Hall in Easton, just outside the town of Greenwich in Washington County. She has been crisscrossing the district at a hectic pace since last July, understanding that, in order to differentiate herself from the crowded field, she would need to begin the electoral process early and meet as many people as possible.

Seated in an informal circle in Burton Hall in the rural Washington County community,with about 30 people, many from Washington County, and others from as far as Glens Falls and Ticonderoga, Cobb talked about her background in politics as well as advocacy in the field of healthcare, the environment and ethics reform.

She served as a St. Lawrence County Legislator in District 8 from 2002 to 2010, with one of her most significant achievements serving in a committee that wrote and passed a new ethics law in the county.

In the field of healthcare, Cobb served as Executive Director of the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, where she successfully developed a nonprofit community health coalition. She also worked to provide access to care, nutrition, fitness and substance abuse education, prevention and treatment.

Cobb’s priorites for the 21st District include protecting rural healthcare to save local jobs and preserve access to vital services; promote environmental policies that boost the economy while creating jobs, and making higher education across the state more competitive in the global marketlace.

Cobb said that, unlike her Republican opponent, incumbent Elise Stefanik, she will make herself available to her constituents. Stefanik’s critics say she’s been unavailable and has refused to hold open meetings, but a Stefanik spokesman pointed out that the congresswoman has participated in 17 open meetings, including one April 5 in South Glens Falls.

While conceding that the district has a diverse political population, Cobb seems unphased by the task ahead of her, saying that “this is an opportunity to bring people together.”

While a minimum of 1,250 signatures are necessary to enter the race, Cobb reported that she received 5,400 signatures. She attributed the high number to the energy and perseverance of her team of volunteers, which has mushroomed from a few dozen to 750 in less than a year.

One of the questions raised was how Cobb would handle the diverse electorate in the District.

“We’re all facing the same kinds of problems,” adding that, while there is so much discord and “clashing,” she feels that, when it gets down to basics, most people want access to healthcare, safety for their children as they go to school, and clean air and water. On the topic of gun safety, she said, “I don’t want your guns, but I want to have more counselors in school and more opportunities to identify at risk kids.”

“It’s not that we have to agree on everything,” but I want people to know that I am running to serve the people of my district.”

Cobb said she planned to run a positive and honest campaign plans to hold Stefanik accountable for her voting record in Congress.

She also compared her suitability to run in the 21st District with Conor Lamb, who recently beat his opponent in Pennsylvania’s hotly contested 18th Congressional District to win a seat in the House of Representatives. Like Lamb. Cobb believes she can cross the aisle and connect with people, regardless of part lines. “I grew up with nine adopted brothers and sisters, and I learned early to reach across the table.”

Read at: http://www.saratogian.com/article/ST/20180520/NEWS/180529982

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