Tracy Mitrano, the winner of the crowded Democratic primary in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, is optimistic that recent enthusiasm among Democratic voter bases across the country — in particular what she’s seen in the 23rd — will help her against incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, in November’s general election.
“Among Democrats … there is a real recognition that this district is out of step with the economic progress going on around this country,” said Mitrano. “People are ready for a change.”
Since 2010, Reed has defeated the last four Democrats to challenge him for the seat. But Mitrano said she believes this time is different.
She believes she can succeed where other Democrats have failed because her message has “resonated” with voters.
“We have a comprehensive message that touches on what people need the most, and again, that (they are also) preferenced over big corporate sponsors that have become Mr. Reed’s support,” said Mitrano.
Mitrano described her platform as consisting of “putting people first” and “economic development for the 23rd District,” to “lay a foundation where this area becomes attractive to private investment to get us good, enduring, solid jobs in the community.”
Her policy objectives include progressive positions on health care, affordable education, environmental conservation, immigration and labor reform, and expanding infrastructure such as internet connections further into rural areas throughout the district.
Mitrano, who grew up in Rochester and is registered to vote in Yates County, according to her website, says previous Democrats were missing dedicated roots to the area.
“I think it really matters that I grew up in Western New York and I have lived in the Southern Tier and in the Finger Lakes,” she said. “I think what might have been missing in the previous four Democratic candidates is that they either grew up here, but left young and never came back, or they did not grow up here, and came as adults.”