Democrat Tracy Mitrano has narrowed the gap in her race against incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Reed, according to polling results released by the Mitrano campaign Tuesday.
Polling by Public Policy Polling and the Global Strategy Group shows Reed leading Mitrano by a margin of 47% to 40%. Reed led by 12 points, 50% to 38%, in July.
“The numbers speak for themselves. We are closing in on Tom Reed because he has failed this district,” Mitrano said. “When voters learn about our campaign, they join us because the people of this district are united in seeking change.”
The two candidates are running in District 23, which includes the Greater Olean area.
The polling also showed President Donald Trump with a 5-point lead, 50% to 45%, over Joe Biden among 23rd District voters. Trump won the district by 15 points in 2016. Reed had a 40% favorability rating, a decrease from 48% in July.
During her weekly media call on Thursday, Mitrano refuted a Sept. 30 media release issued by Reed's campaign staff. It read, in part, "New York City progressives are spending tens of thousands of dollars in the 23rd congressional race, hurling baseless charges against Congressman Tom Reed. The Manhattan-based New York State Democratic Committee has sent at least four mailers to Southern Tier and Finger Lakes voters that make false attacks against Tom’s record."
Mitrano responded, "We have a Mitrano Victory Fund with the state party, but the money in it is from the grassroots support of people in this district who want responsible government. FEC reports will make that 100 percent clear.”
Mitrano talked about how Reed has voted for legislation, such as a 2017 tax cut that added $1 trillion to the national debt. She also discussed his failure to acknowledge links that the president and Reed's own district have to white supremacy.
“Tom Reed may show up for the occasional NAACP event, but he would rather rail against imaginary Taliban militants in the district than admit we have right wing white supremacists in our own midst,” Mitrano said.
Mitrano also spoke about the Sept. 29 debate between Trump and the Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joseph Biden.
“There was only one president on stage and it was not the one who flew in on Air Force One,” Mitrano said, adding she appreciated how Joe Biden tried to speak directly to the American people. From Trump, Mitrano only saw a “massive behavioral obstination” from Trump.
Then, she criticized Trump for the minimal amount of federal taxes he has paid, for his debt to Deutsche Bank and for his neglect of national threats.
“Trump is not the unencumbered wealthy man he has held himself out to be,” Mitrano said.
She claimed Trump’s aggression during the presidential debate was to provide a distraction from how he has only paid around $1,500 in federal taxes over the past two decades.
Then Mitrano linked Trump’s debts to ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We know that Deutsche Bank is holding on to his debt,” Mitrano pointed out. “Given Putin's ties to Deutsche Bank, it's not difficult to connect the dots.”
Mitrano added further that Trump has neglected to discuss cyber threats, has “[bled] our country dry” and, that in the eyes of politicians such as Reed, has gotten away with wrongdoings.
“We need to be serious about how he has placed our national security at risk,” Mitrano stated.
Mitrano will appear on WETM-TV in Elmira to debate Reed on Oct. 27, and she will face Libertarian candidate Andrew Kolstee in an Oct. 14 meet the candidates online forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Chautauqua.
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