ENDORSEMENT: Cobb is the best of a strong Democratic field for Congress
“Democrats have plenty of viable choices in the June 26 primary, but for our money, they can’t go wrong with Tedra Cobb.”
Post-Star Editorial Board
June 17, 2018
It was very clear early in our meeting with Tedra Cobb that she is a force of nature.
She was enthusiastic, concise, engaging, passionate, and when she wanted to emphasize a point, she would lean far forward in her chair to be sure you understood.
She didn’t quite poke a finger in anyone’s chest, but she carried the room and showed she would not be ignored.
She graduated from SUNY Potsdam, met her husband and raised a family in Canton, served in the St. Lawrence County Legislature for two terms — unseating a longtime incumbent the first time — while also volunteering as a firefighter.
In a crowded field of strong candidates, Democrats should vote for Cobb in the 21st Congressional District primary on June 26.
Cobb, 50, knows how the issues have affected her neighbors, has ideas on how to fix them and has the passion to command a room.
The board was impressed by Emily Martz’s passion and economic experience, Patrick Nelson’s political intellect, Dylan Ratigan’s analysis of the big picture connecting government, politics and big business and Katie Wilson’s smarts as a single mom dealing personally with the fallout from Washington’s poor judgment.
You could make a strong case for any of them, but what was most obvious to the board was that the current culture of Washington had disturbed each of them to such a degree they were spurred to act.
One comment especially stayed with us:
“There was one time last fall when I had to decide between buying snow tires and school supplies,” Wilson said.
That one comment sums of the concerns of so many voters in the 21st District. It was the kind of truthful reality that sticks with you. We suspect — and hope — we see Wilson again running for office.
But right now, Cobb is the candidate best suited to the cause.
While attending college three decades ago, she was part of a protest against a trash plant in St. Lawrence County.
She remembers one legislator who was in favor of the project coming out to address the crowd, but instead of addressing the protesters, he crossed his arms and turned his back on them.
“You don’t deserve to be there,” Cobb said she thought at the time. “And I’m going to run for office. Sometimes, people just get that spark.”
That spark has turned into burning desire to serve in Congress.
Consider this resume:
Her first business was a community health agency where she secured federal and state funding to provide preventive screening and follow-up care for hundreds of people who could not afford health insurance. It still employs a dozen staff members.
In 2001, she beat what she called a “powerful” incumbent politician for a spot in the county legislature, despite being in the minority party. She ran unopposed four years later and served eight years.
Her commitment to transparency led to the creation and passage of a St. Lawrence County ethics law and the establishment of a board of ethics. She later served with the New York State Committee on Open Government with Executive Director Bob Freeman.
After getting her master’s degree, she started another business — Tedra Cobb and Associates — aimed at helping people in private businesses and not-for-profit organizations to collaborate to get things done.
More than any of the five candidates, Cobb has lived her life in service to her community.
Her lifetime of living in the North County, and being on the front lines of health care issues as a small-business owner, puts her in a unique position to know the problems firsthand and fix them.
She prides herself on her ability to build coalitions to get things done and believes she can replicate that in Washington. We wouldn’t bet against her.
Cobb is also someone who walks the walk. She not only supports alternative energy forms — her husband installs solar panels — but their family lived off the grid at one point for 11 years.
“We stand at a crossroads,” Cobb said at the Meet the Candidates night in Saratoga Springs last week. “We need to replace Elise Stefanik because she is voting in ways that hurt us.”
Democrats have plenty of viable choices in the June 26 primary, but for our money, they can’t go wrong with Tedra Cobb.
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