November 13, 2020
From Democrat Tracy Mitrano:
Confident that the absentee ballot count is moving ahead methodically and fairly, Tracy Mitrano called Rep. Tom Reed this afternoon and congratulated him, conceding the race for the 23rd Congressional District. She also thanked her supporters for their help and encouragement as she traveled throughout this district for the last three years.
She has issued the following statement:
Believing in the need to uphold our democratic norms of free and fair elections and the need to ensure that every ballot is counted, I had planned originally to concede after all of the ballots were counted. I did not know how protracted the count would be. Tompkins County, the seat of the lion’s share of Democratic votes, does not project completion any earlier than late next week. Although the counting of absentee ballots continues to narrow the margin, the math has long pointed to a clear victory for my opponent. Moreover, I have grown very impatient with waiting to thank my supporters and provide closure for all of us. Assured now that those absentee ballots are being counted in earnest, and that the process will soon end in an accurate count and a fair election, it is with that confidence that I now concede the 2020 Congressional District NY-23 election.
I do so with full respect for the election process and enormous gratitude to my team and our supporters. The many selfless, tireless, creative, dedicated, generous, and kind people that sustained me and buoyed our campaign are the backbone of democracy. With all my heart, I salute you! To my family, Vickie, our six children and extended family, I am so deeply grateful for your indulgence. I love you all.
About the campaign process, I am not so sanguine. Running an honest campaign against an opponent who is not reveals some of the worst aspects of electoral politics today. To be attacked personally when the campaign should be about issues tarnishes my reputation in the community for no more benefit than to place my opponent’s venality in bold relief. Leaving unaddressed the challenges that the people of this district contend with every day grossly disrespects voters and their dependents, especially children. Then to have lies, gross misrepresentations, and personal attacks amplified by corporate campaign funding that drowns out meaningful debate is to make all the more apparent the spoils of political corruption.
Still, I have no regrets. In our country’s political life, it was essential then as it remains now to take nothing for granted in the protection of our national security and democratic republic. Three years ago, my campaign focused on my professional background in social, internet and cybersecurity policy. As we moved from 2018 primary to the general election, I became more aware of the significance of raising not only a voice of opposition to the incumbent and his voting record, but also of speaking clearly to the electorate’s most immediate needs.
Foremost among those needs are affordable health care, good education, infrastructure (including reliable, affordable internet connectivity), sustainability and the environment. Together, by addressing those needs we can accomplish the larger goal of economically reviving this district. With a Democratic president and majority in the house, it is possible, and I hope earnestly that this vision comes to pass. But let us be clear: after ten years of neglect, it will not be because of Tom Reed but rather in spite of him.
To those who voted for me and believed in our campaign, hold your head high! You helped to make this campaign one in which you can have much pride. Just because we did not prevail does not mean that your contribution to democracy goes unheralded. Quite the opposite. It is easy to celebrate democracy in victory; harder, but more meaningful, in defeat.
I thank you for the honor of giving voice to your needs and your concerns. And I wish all—Democrat and Republican, unaffiliated and minor parties, and indeed all the people of this district —health, happiness and God’s grace!