As written on March 4, 2016, at Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com by Michael “Vass” Vasquez
There has been no end of excitement and confusion in the race for the open congressional seat in the New York 22nd District. Candidates have snuck into the race without public notice, appeared at the last moment just as they gain endorsements, and of course rampant rumors. But with petitions to start on March 8, 2016, all the candidates for the public to consider seemed to have been decided. Then another announcement hit the news.
On March 3, 2016, Broome County Legislator Kim Myers broke the news that she had decided to enter the Democrat competition for the NY-22. A much rumored choice once Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi backed out of the race in January, Legislator Myers had already won several Democratic Committee endorsements by the time she made the announcement. The news came out just as the Oneida Democratic Committee were set to consider the choice potential candidates. She would ultimately win that endorsement.
Legislator Myers is set to compete with David Gordon, who had previously announced his run in January. We interviewed Mr. Gordon on February 6, 2016. Mr. Gordon has received no endorsements from any of the 8 counties that make up the NY-22. Mr. Gordon currently is continuing in the race, but not all the potential challengers in the Democratic Party have taken that stance.
Mr. Joshua Riley had been one of those challengers. Equally rumored to be a potential pick by the Democrats, Mr. Riley is an attorney at Boies, Schiller & Flexner, and states he is a resident of Endicott, NY. Previously Mr. Riley had served as the General Counsel for Democrat stalwart Sen. Al Franken, and law clerk for Judge Kim Wardlaw of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court. Solid credentials for any congressional candidate.
But, after Legislator Myers publicly made her decision after 3 months of consideration, Mr. Riley withdrew from the race. He added his support to Legislator Myers as stated in a letter we received a copy of addressed to the Oneida, Madison, and Broome County Committees.
“I always have taken pride in being a team player, and I have concluded, after much reflection, that withdrawing my name from consideration for your endorsement is the best thing I can do for the region and the party at this time. Winning back this seat now for our party is simply too important…
I urge that person to remember always that this seat is a platform to give voice to those who otherwise would go unheard in the Capitol’s corridors of power… Our constituents deserve no less.”
In an email response to our request for comment, Mr. Riley stated on March 4, 2016, that while he still holds interest in a potential elected office in the future, that would be dependent on the situation at the time. He further stated that,
“Our region has been decimated by layoffs and plant closings. I come from four generations of workers in the local factories, so I know firsthand the human consequences of an eroding manufacturing base. Democrats and Republicans disagree on a lot of things, and that’s fine because that’s part of a vibrant democracy, but job creation is one thing on which we should have a singular and unified focus.”
The sudden announcement and rapid endorsement of Legislator Myers has opened several questions about her run. As part of the most comprehensive coverage of the New York 22nd congressional race, we sought comment from the Democrat candidate, and extended the offer for interview we have provided to all candidates in the race. The response from the Myers campaign, and our initial research on the candidate will be contained in a follow-up article.
What can be said is that the primaries for both Republicans and Democrats are now likely filled with all the candidates that the public will have to chose from. The stage is set with 4 Republicans – Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, Aaron Price, George Phillips, and Steve Wells. Democrats will choose from David Gordon and Legislator Kim Myers. But the choice for the public will also include a less traditional option in the form of Libertarian candidate David Pasick.
At least some of these names will appear on the ballots in November. Who will make it to that date will likely be a function of money as much as ability. But first will come the petition season, and a local competition that may well rival the presidential race to date.