Just over a week after Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95 lost her bid for Congress, she announced that she will be running to represent New York’s 23rd district in 2020.
Mitrano lost last Tuesday’s race by a margin of nearly 10 percentage points, the smallest margin of loss since Nate Shinagawa’s ’05 campaign in 2012. Rep. Tom Reed (N.Y.-23), who has represented the district for six years, soundly defeated the Cornell Law School alumna, securing his seat in congress for another two years.
Winning with a margin of 53.78 percent over Mitrano’s 43.99 percent, Reed’s campaign went against the national trend for House seats and rebuked claims of a “blue wave.”
While ballots are still being counted in other races around the country, Mitrano is looking ahead to 2020, saying in a campaign press release that her decision will “[build] on this name recognition, field program, and fundraising infrastructure.”
New York’s 23rd district has historically leaned heavily Republican, aside from Tompkins County, which overwhelmingly voted for the former cybersecurity expert.
“The results of November 6th don’t change the facts,” Mitrano said, listing the policy initiatives that she emphasized during her campaign, including tax reform, tuition payment reform, infrastructure development and environmental conservation. “I am committed to working for those causes and these people.”
“Though we didn’t cross the finish line this time around, we built a grassroots movement that will continue to grow over the next two years,” Mitrano continued.
Mitrano won Tompkins County, and collected more than 40 percent of the votes in Yates, Seneca, Schuyler, part of Ontario and Chemung counties.
Mitrano’s run, while acknowledged to be uphill in a district that almost wholly voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, gained national attention when her campaign raised impressive funds, passing Reed by over $200,000 in the third quarter of 2018, according to the Federal Election Commission. The Cook Political Report then changed the district’s rating from “Solid” to “Likely” Republican.
While Mitrano looks to gain Reed’s seat in the distant future, after the election, the re-elected Republican undertook a conciliatory tone last week.
“As we look at the national scene and see that as we go back to Washington, D.C., that there needs to be a bringing together of both sides, now that we have a divided government in the House and Senate,” Reed said after being elected, according to the Ithaca Journal.
Reed said that he will be retiring “the ‘Extreme Ithaca Liberal’ label,” which he assigned to his opponents in the previous three elections.
“I am deeply grateful to the hundreds of supporters who have urged me to run again, and I have always said I was in this fight for the long haul,” Mitrano said.
According to the campaign press release, Mitrano will launch her 2020 campaign with a “Thank You Tour” for her supporters, followed by a “Listening Tour.”
“We can compete with whoever our opponent is in 2020,” Mitrano said.