NY-21, the North Country, wasn’t drastically affected by the 2020 redistricting. The district got slightly redder— from an R+14 partisan lean to an R+17 lean. The PVI is R+9 up from an R+4. Trump beat Biden 55.2% to 42.8% under the new boundaries, his third best performance in New York. Trump bootlick Elise Stefanik is the incumbent. Last cycle she beat Matt Castelli 168,579 (59.2%) to 116,421 (40.8%), winning 12 of the district’s 14 counties, very narrowly losing Essex and Clinton, which like to think of themselves as part of Vermont which they both border. It didn’t help that Stefanik outspent Castelli $10.5 million to $2.4 million and that the DCCC ignored the race entirely.
The DCCC may be ignoring the district but over 100,000 Democratic voters aren’t and progressives feel strongly that a Trump tool like Stefanik cannot be allowed to skate without accountability for her role in the MAGA shenanigans in Congress. Over the weekend, Steven Holden declared his candidacy for the seat. He sent me this guest post for DWT readers today.
Welcome to the beautiful NY-21st Congressional District! It is called the North Country and the Adirondack Region and is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in America. The District spans from Alexandria Bay on one side to the Albany suburbs to the other. It is diverse and large. The voters of this District are diverse as well. If you don’t believe me, just go to my opponent, Elise Stefanik’s webpage. She touts that the District has the largest number of Veterans and Seniors in the State. She also touts the outdoor recreation in the District. What is sad is that she continually does little for these groups. In the disastrous Debt Ceiling fight, she was willing to put Veterans and Seniors at risk by cutting essential services and has been on record to cut Social Security. She continually votes against Green Energy and instead takes money from big polluters. If you follow politics, you know who Elise Stefanik is. She is Kevin McCarthy’s loyal lieutenant, and is a sycophant for Donald Trump. So much so, she, along with MTG, wants to erase his impeachments from the Congressional Record. It is clear as day that she has no desire to actually serve the people of NY-21!
As for me, I am a proud Veteran of the US Army, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Unlike my opponent, I served our Nation, and bear the scars of it, much like many of this District. I support full-fledged funding of the Department of Veterans Affairs. I put three children through college, and I know the financial burden that it puts on those who wish to better themselves. I support eliminating college loan debt, and doing something about the out-of-control Supreme Court who struck down measures to alleviate that debt. My father is a cancer patient, and I see the burden, not just Seniors, but people in all walks of life have struggled to get the care they need. Hence, I support Medicare for All. No one should need to worry about copays and premiums when they are trying to recover. I am also of Native American heritage, of which we have the Mohawk Nation within the boundaries of the District, of which my wife is of Mohawk heritage. This is another group that Stefanik has no contact with nor represents their equities.
This race is a stark contrast. Elise Stefanik has benefitted from privilege her whole life. I grew up on a dairy farm in Oklahoma with my New Deal Democratic grandparents. I served my country, started a small business helping Veterans, and advocate for Veterans, Seniors, and students. The District needs someone who represents the people who live there, not special interests. Once again this cycle, I am proud to be backed by Blue America and what they are doing to change America. With honor, I display this endorsement, and I look for others around the country who want to do the same. With this, I announce my candidacy to unseat Elise Stefanik, and replace her with an actual Progressive!