August 14, 2020
From The Tracy Mitrano Campaign:
Democratic congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano (NY-23rd) called Senator Kamala Harris “an excellent choice” for the vice presidency during her weekly press call. “If she had stayed in the race for president, I might’ve voted for her,” Mitrano added.
Asked what Harris brings to the Democratic ticket, Mitrano cited diversity, addressing the issues of race and law enforcement that have emerged over the summer, and healthcare, where Harris’s approach is similar to her own. “She will help us move away from arguments about specific plans and get in place ones that make sure we do not discriminate against pre-existing conditions, that we lower the cost of prescription drugs, that we be sure to fund Medicare, and that we make sure we can continue to deliver quality healthcare, but on a more appropriate and equitable basis.”
The Republican Party, including President Donald Trump, wasted no time attacking Biden’s choice, telling “deliberate lies” about both Democrats’ positions in a range of issues. “[Trump spokeswoman] Kellyanne Conway couldn’t get the words off her tongue fast enough,” said Mitrano. “I can only say how unfortunate it is that the people of this country are continuously underestimated and insulted by the misrepresentation and racist insults the president is already slinging as distractions from the failure of his record.”
Musing on the psychological aspects of this election, Mitrano said the Biden-Harris ticket is “dedicated to getting this country over the public health and economic crisis we are in, and getting us to a better place for working- and middle-class people, and for the integrity of this country.” The Trump-Pence ticket by comparison, is marked by “negativity, resentment, hatred, racism, and backward-looking policies on such important issues as our national security, immigration, healthcare, education.
“I firmly believe the people of the 23rd district, and Americans in general, want to move beyond all that to a better place, she said. “Elections have an emotional quality that transcends policy positions, that people will pay attention to, and the Biden-Harris ticket is going to win this race as a result.”
Why won’t Tom Reed debate Mitrano?
It’s been more than three weeks since Mitrano challenged her opponent, incumbent Republican Tom Reed, to a series of debates this fall. Four newspapers and three TV stations have offered to host the events, hewing closely to covid-19 safety guidelines, but Reed hasn’t responded. Mitrano calls that “a stunning rebuke to the democratic process.” Reed, she says, is afraid to face her—and his constituents.
“He has failed this district, and there is no defense for failure,” she said. “These were good economic times. We could’ve gotten our arms around a lot of issues, from immigration to helping farmers. Instead, Tom Reed has used this office for his own political ambitions,” for example preparing to run for governor in 2022 even as he runs for a sixth term in Congress.
Mitrano rejects Reed’s excuse, which is that hosting town hall meetings is the equivalent of debates. That may put him in violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits the use of federal funds for personal purposes.
“To say Tom Reed doesn’t need to debate me because he does town halls, when taxpayers pay for his travel, for staff time managing town halls, and to put them in same category as a political campaign, is on its face a violation of the Hatch Act.
“He reads the same polls I do, and those polls reveal that Trump has lost the 15-point advantage he had in the 2016 election,” Mitrano added. Reed has recently toned down public expressions of support for the president, but he is the honorary chair of Trump’s New York campaign, and he has a long record of supporting and excusing Trump’s often outrageous actions, she said. “Since Tom Reed has hitched his star to Trump, he knows he is going down with him. He can run, but he cannot hide from the facts.”