November 2, 2018 • Syracuse Post-Standard

Editorial endorsement: Anthony Brindisi for the 22nd Congressional District

In the 22nd Congressional District, incumbent Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney and Democratic challenger Anthony Brindisihave locked up their partisans on the right and the left. In this too-close-to-call race, they are battling for the undecided voters in the middle.

Of the two, we think Brindisi is the more moderate, less polarizing candidate who could capture the center and help Congress fulfill its constitutional duty to be a check on the executive branch.

Tenney, a former member of the Assembly, was narrowly elected to Congress in 2016 in a three-person race for the seat vacated by the retirement of Republican Richard Hanna. The incumbent touts her close connection to President Donald Trump in a district that went for him by 55 percent. Tenney takes every opportunity to lobby the president on behalf of local manufacturers. The owners of Liberty Tabletop (the successor to Oneida Ltd.) credit her for bringing them national exposure and an opening to sell American-made silverware to the military. She fought against Trump budget cuts to historic tax credits and aid to cities that would have harmed Upstate New York.

Tenney also voted for the president's tax cut legislation, which this editorial board supported. Trump rewarded Tenney's support by appearing at a local event in August that raised $650,000 for her and the GOP.

Unfortunately, Tenney also emulates Trump's tendency to play to the conservative base by making provocative, divisive and sometimes false statements. The congresswoman undercuts her policy views by saying belligerent and inflammatory things.

Brindisi was elected to the Assembly in 2011. He touts state funding he secured for drone research at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, a new hospital in Utica and nanotechnology projects allied with SUNY Polytechnic in Marcy. He says he would bring more attention and resources to the neglected Binghamton-area portion of the district, seek universal background checks for gun buyers and reform campaign finance rules. Brindisi does not accept money from corporate PACs.

Brindisi has been endorsed by the Blue Dog Democrats - a conservative wing of the Democratic Party. He says he would govern in the mold of the district's longtime moderate Republican Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, who served for 24 years. Boehlert was followed by fellow Blue Dog Democrat Mike Arcuri (four years) and Hanna (six years). The staunchly conservative Tenney is the outlier of the group.

With control of the House of Representatives in the balance, the 22nd Congressional District is the target of negative campaign ads paid for by outside groups. That has warped and soured the contest between two people who come from the Utica area, have known each other a long time and even served together in the Assembly.

While both candidates are able public servants, we endorse Brindisi as the candidate who best represents the district's centrist streak.

Post Type: 
News Story