Tracy Mitrano expressed joy after marrying her partner of four years, Vickie Everett, on June 30. 

“It was very hastily put together, but we’re very happy,” Mitrano, the Democratic challenger for the 23rd congressional district, said in an interview with TAPinto Greater Olean Monday. 

Mitrano and Everett wed in the Yates County town of Jerusalem with about 15 people in attendance, all following the Finger Lakes Region’s social-distancing protocols.

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“We hope, once there’s a vaccine or treatment, to have a larger gathering where more family and friends can share in our happiness,” Mitrano said. 

Mitrano predicted the marriage will not have much impact on her campaign to represent the 23rd congressional district, which includes the Greater Olean area, because people are accustomed to occasionally seeing Everett with her at campaign events.

After all, Mitrano noted, Everett was “instrumental” in encouraging her to run for Congress after hearing Mitrano speak “off the cuff” at an informal Democratic gathering in mid-July of 2017. On Dec. 5 of the same year, Mitrano formally quit her position as adviser to the vice chancellor of information technologies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to run for Congress. Mitrano lost the 2018 campaign to incumbent Rep. Tom Reed.

Mitrano said Everett plans to attend some future in-person campaign events, when they do not conflict with her job as a Watkins Glen Elementary School kindergarten teacher. The candidate added she is looking forward to upcoming events after attending peaceful protests across the district and not hearing of COVID-19 cases resulting from them. 

“I have attended several Black Lives Matter events from Elmira to Corning, Geneva and Ithaca, Olean and Jamestown, at which everyone practiced social distancing and/or wore masks,” Mitrano said. “We’ve learned that we can have events, and we look forward to releasing a schedule of in-person events, outside, following protocols.”

She plans on the events following all the social distancing rules of the 23rd district’s three regions. 

Mitrano expects her campaign staff to release an events schedule within the next two weeks. 

“I’m looking forward to getting back out into the public, meeting voters under appropriate circumstances, talking about their needs, because I’m in it to win it,” Mitrano said. “I feel it’s essential that I get out and meet more and more people, so they know what I stand for and that I care about their interests.”

During the interview, Mitrano also discussed President Donald Trump’s recent tweet about NASCAR and the Confederate flag, as well as her thoughts on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, also known as the USMCA.

Mitrano said Reed should be ashamed for the “line in the sand” that he has drawn concerning Trump’s beliefs on NASCAR’s banning of the Confederate flag. 

“Tom Reed’s silence on Trump’s obvious racism expressed in his defense of the Confederate flag tells us exactly where Reed stands on race as does his continued position as honorary chair to Trump’s re-election in New York State,” she said. 

Mitrano said she supports NASCAR’s decision as a statement against racism and a step toward equality and that she disagrees with Trump's and Reed’s thoughts on the USMCA, though she supports the agreement’s passage. 

“President Trump and Congressman Reed exaggerate the effect that the USMCA will have on agriculture and the people of the 23rd district,” Mitrano said. “It will do nothing to bring basic utilities that farmers need, like broadband, to stay competitive.”  

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