After suffering a defeat to Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) in the 2018 midterm elections, Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95 is preparing to face the congressman again in the 2020 elections to represent New York’s 23rd congressional district.
According to The Ithaca Voice, Reed has raised over $460,000 from October to December in 2019, leaving him $709,000 on hand.
The Ithaca Voice further reported that during the last quarter, Reed’s campaign had a “78.6 percent burn rate” with investments in research, staff and fundraisers. Reed has raised nearly $83,000 more compared to the same time frame in the 2016-2017 election cycle.
In comparison, Mitrano has raised around $444,200 so far in the campaign, according to Mark Pruce, Mitrano’s campaign manager. The amount of money that the campaign has on hand is around $183,000.
Pruce explained to The Sun that there were around 2,400 unique donors, with each donor contributing $92 on average.
According to Mitrano, the amount she has raised “compares very favorably to the 2018 timeline”.
“In the 2018 cycle, I started fundraising in the December of 2017 up to the end of the primary primary, I raised around $200,000. Because we do not have a contested primary, I will have raised, I hope, by then, somewhere around a ballpark of a million dollars,” Mitrano told The Sun.
Mitrano will face Scott Noren in New York’s Democratic Primary on June 23. However, she has earned endorsements from many party organizations in the district and is considered a favorite to win.
However, Mitrano doesn’t think this is enough. Mitrano believes that in order to actually fight against what she sees as Reed’s “lies, mistruths and his hoodwinking conceptions,” she needs a minimum of $2 million, and hopes to aim for $2.5 million in funding, to win the election.
Amidst the blue wave in the 2018 elections, Mitrano lost to Rep. Reed by 8.4 percentage points, which was nevertheless Reed’s closest race since 2012. The heavily rural 23rd district spans from Ithaca to Buffalo, and has shifted to the right since 2008, voting for President DonaldTrump by an almost 18-point margin.
As part of her efforts, Mitrano did a five day, five city tour, giving town hall style discussions on issues such as healthcare in January.
From this event, Miltrano said she was able to gain a better understanding of people’s experiences and learned that while people “find a single comprehensive concept [like healthcare] overwhelming, … if you ask them what do you need and what do you want they will tell you.”
Mitrano’s campaign has primarily focused on developing infrastructure, cybersecurity initiatives and energizing environmental protections. The candidate has also expressed support for legalizing cannabis and decreasing interest rates on college loans.
But despite so far raising less money than Reed, Miltrano believes she has an advantage going into the 2020 race.
“We did it in a non-presidential year with [Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.)] on the ballet” Mitrano said. “For better or for worse, Democrats don’t come out in large numbers as Republicans do. So in [the] 2018 results, [it was] something close to the ceiling of Republican turnout but we can expect higher Democratic turn out [this year].”
Mitrano said that she and her team have done a statistical breakdown for every single voting precinct in the district, claiming that, in the areas with the lowest turn out, they found that Reed had reportedly spread “misinformation” that misconstrued her positions on issues like education and drug treatment in brochures and other campaign material.
Reed’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.