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It’s on for 2020: Mitrano, McMurray plan runs

The 2018 election flipped the House of Representatives from red to blue. The “Blue Wave” didn’t include Democratic congressional candidates Tracy Mitrano and Nate McMurray, but their loss in contested races against Republican incumbents didn’t dampen their drive.

Nate McMurry

On to 2020. That’s when a presidential race will drive voters to the polls in droves — and once again, House seats will be up for grabs. The two Democrats who ran in districts representing much of the Finger Lakes, including Ontario County, aren’t skipping a beat.

On Thursday night, McMurray held a free thank-you party for supporters, with some 500 people expected to attend. The Grand Island town supervisor conceded the race for the 27th District to Rep. Chris Collins after trailing by just 1,300 votes. Thursday’s event at McMurray’s campaign headquarters in Erie County, among other things, called for “a little insight into 2019 events” for the candidate’s “Fight Like Hell” campaign.

Mitrano lost to Rep. Tom Reed of Corning, who took 55 percent of the vote in the 23rd District. In a press release Thursday, Mitrano, a cybersecurity expert and former director of information technology policy at Cornell University, weighed in on the just-passed 2018 Farm Bill. The federal Farm Bill, which every five years reauthorizes farm and nutrition programs across the country, had lapsed after congressional leaders let the bill expire on Sept. 30. While both Democrats and Republican lauded final passage of the bill, the delay had left farmers hanging. “Farmers need to know what they can count on in planning for next year,” New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said last week.

Taking the House and Reed to task for the nearly three-month delay and other points, Mitrano stated the late agreement “came too late for many dairy farmers in upstate New York.” She said 271 farmers in the 23rd district went out of business this year.

“Not only would I have pressed to pass this bill on time, I would have fought harder to obtain more immediate help for our struggling farm community,” Mitrano said.

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