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SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Money will play a big role locally on Election Day

Are voters energized for the upcoming elections?

Midterm elections are a challenge to forecast. Typically it’s an opportunity for the party not in control, to leverage some energy from their base – and take control of Congress or Senate. While some are talking about the prospect of a Blue Wave, Leslie Danks Burke of the Trailblazers PAC sees this election cycle as an opportunity for voters to get engaged.


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She agreed that a ‘blue wave’ was possible given the energy and enthusiasm expressed by voters. Her organization, the Trailblazers PAC, works with candidates who publicly document where all campaign funds are coming from – and ensuring that a percentage of their campaign dollars come from in-district donors.

“Folks are starting to get a little better educated in terms of what they’re expecting out of candidates,” she explained. “I don’t think it’s just a left-right spectrum anymore either – we’ve got a full-sphere of people’s opinions out there and at all corners we’re seeing enormous political engagement.”

She called the engagement ‘exciting’ and noted that individual races – like those for major congressional districts locally – as well as statewide races – like the one for Governor – aren’t always played on an even scale.

Burke talked about the financial difference between Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and challenger Marc Molinaro, the Republican. While Molinaro had just a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank at last check – Gov. Cuomo had millions. She noted that not having the Republican Party step in and ‘level’ the financial playing field – does a disservice to the Republican voters who would otherwise want to see Cuomo out of office.

Throughout her conversation with Josh Durso on Inside the FLX – the dollars-and-cents of political campaigns really make a big difference. Her point being, if an entity like New York’s Republican Party put their thumb on the scale to ‘even’ the financial playing field – Molinaro would have a more-realistic chance of winning in November.

Burke also talked about the Reed-Mitrano race, as well as the Katko-Balter contest shaping up in the 23rd and 24th districts.

Listen to the podcast version of the program in the audio player above, or watch the entire conversation on Inside the FLX in the video window atop this story.

Reporting in this story by News Director Josh Durso. He hosts #InsideTheFLX on FingerLakes1.TV and FL1 Radio. He produces FingerLakes1.com’s weekly ‘Sunday Conversation’ taking a deeper look into the headlines. Email tips and leads to josh@fingerlakes1.com.

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