All the men on both sides of Tracy Mitrano’s family have served in the military since World War II. Because of that, her family has had a long-standing tradition of supporting veterans.

During her Thursday media call, Mitrano spoke of her family's military history and said she was pleased to have veterans on her weekly online show Tuesday.

Mitrano, the Democratic challenger for the 23rd congressional district, which includes the Greater Olean area, said she wants to advocate for veterans during her time in Congress. 

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“They deserve our support for the service that they gave,” Mitrano said.

During the media call, Mitrano also discussed fundraising for her campaign and the Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mitrano said the funds for her 2020 campaign have increased to $341,000 since 2018, when she had about $8,000. Ninety-three percent of the $341,000 came from individual donations, compared to the 35 percent in individual donations given to Tom Reed, the Republican incumbent, she said.

Mitrano attributed the increase she is seeing in contributions to a shift in the mindset of voters because of COVID-19. 

“People are looking at President Trump and seeing an utter failure,” Mitrano said. “And they’re looking at Tom Reed and asking, ‘Are you really helping me,’ because it’s a matter of life or death.”

She said voters want to try a different, honest and responsible representative of their district.

The last subject of the media call was the Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential election.

Mitrano said that hacking was the primary reason she began running for Congress, and she added that she also wants to see less corruption in the U.S. government.

“Our president made a joke out of it (the hacking), and his full pardon of Roger Stone made a joke out of the joke,” Mitrano said.

Roger Stone, a political lobbyist and Donald Trump’s former adviser, was convicted of seven felonies, which included lying to investigators, obstructing a congressional inquiry and witness tampering.

On July 10, shortly before Stone was scheduled to begin serving a 40-month prison sentence, the president commuted it.

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