Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 endorsed Ithaca congressional challenger John Plumb Saturday, warning voters about the dangers of reelecting Tom Reed (R-NY), an early supporter of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Reed announced his support for Trump on March 16, becoming one of the first congressmen to endorse the controversial candidate publicly. Following Reed’s statement, Plumb accused the Republican of “putting politics before the country.”
In his endorsement post on Facebook, Myrick also criticized Reed for actively “avoiding” Ithaca, the largest city in his district.
“Maybe [this is] because he routinely insults ‘extreme Ithaca’ in his campaign ads,” Myrick wrote. “Maybe because he routinely stands against the environment, in favor of fracking and against human rights for refugees.”
In contrast, Myrick praised Plumb’s commitment to upholding policies important to Ithaca, citing the fact that the candidate’s family has lived in upstate New York for four generations.
“He understands the importance of the federal government investing in people, stopping climate change and creating more affordable education,” Myrick wrote.
Although Reed reprimanded Trump after the release of a tape showing Trump making lewd comments about sexually assaulting women, Reed did not pull his endorsement, maintaining that a “Hillary Clinton presidency is unacceptable.”
Reed also explained his support for Trump by calling him “an outsider who will shake up D.C.”
Plumb criticized Reed’s response to the scandal, pointing out that while other Republicans withdrew their support for Trump Reed remained committed to the contentious candidate.
“Congressman Reed will do and say anything to advance his own self-interests at the expense of all of us here in the Southern Tier,” Plumb said in a statement. “It is clear that he made a self-serving political calculation that this is the best way to advance his Washington career and the special interests that he protects.”
Myrick has been a longtime supporter of Clinton, campaigning for her in Pennsylvania and New York. He has also repeatedly criticized Trump, saying on his Facebook page that Trump “knows nothing and can fix nothing.”
Plumb, a former officer in the U.S. Navy, has a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and worked at the National Security Council prior to his congressional campaign, according to a campaign release.