Candidates spar over trackers, debates, campaign metrics

From an article by Pete DeMola on the Sun Community News website published 8/30/18.
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Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) faces a challenge from Democratic candidate Tedra Cobb. Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn is also running. (Image: Pete DeMola)

ELIZABETHTOWN | Campaigns are again squabbling over the use of “trackers” in New York’s 21st Congressional District.

Following a North Country Public Radio (NCPR) report on Wednesday revealing the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) paid up to five operatives to tail Tedra Cobb, the Democratic candidate lashed out at Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro).

“National pundits say this is a safe seat for Stefanik, but her actions tell a different story,” Cobb said in a statement. “FEC filings show the NRCC hired five trackers to follow North Country Democrats. All of these trackers have professional ties to Stefanik.”

The Stefanik campaign does not employ trackers — “The NRCC coordinates all tracking efforts in the 21st District,” a NRCC spokesman told NCPR — but each of the five has ties to the Stefanik campaign, the outlet reported.

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Brian Phillips Jr., a spokesman for Cobb, did not offer comparable figures for their operation, but said the campaign has 1,400 volunteers and “endorsements lining up by the day,” including backing from New York State United Teachers and the AFL-CIO, whose members unanimously endorsed the candidate earlier this month.

“When I look at those metrics, it looks like Stefanik has a lot of catching up to do,” Phillips said.

Voters head to the polls Nov. 6.

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