Although John Katko will no longer be representing us when the 118th Congress convenes in January 2023, it could be worse. Brandon Williams, the big upset winner in the Republican congressional primary and also the Conservative party candidate, is a MAGA-supporting conservative who holds extreme views on abortion rights, gun ownership, voter ID laws, building the wall and ending “the woke culture permeating the public education system.” We need to make sure he’s not the one sitting in the NY 22 seat come January.
The newly-drawn NY 22 congressional district includes Onondaga, Madison and Oneida counties and a portion of Oswego County Democrats have a voter-enrollment advantage in the new district, but Republicans want to hold the seat. This will be a hard-fought and well-funded contest (with lots of annoying television ads). We can flip the district to blue and help ensure that MAGA Republicans do not gain control of the House, which would be disastrous, by getting out the vote for Francis Conole.
Conole, the Democratic primary winner, supports climate justice, womens’ right to choose, voter protections, campaign finance reform, gun violence protections and protecting Medicare and Social Security. He carried Onondaga County, but he didn’t win in the Madison and Oneida County primaries. It appears that one of Brandon Williams’ paths to primary victory was his direct voter reach-out effort; he and his volunteers knocked on lots and lots of doors and spoke with lots and lots of voters. Conole didn’t do a great job with this, which contributed to him not winning Madison and Oneida counties. His campaign can’t let Williams take this same advantage leading up to the November election. Conole’s campaign has hired a grassroots director, Jon Lipe, to oversee field operations. He’ll be on board later this week, so we should see canvassing efforts ramp up. Contact Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to get started at canvassing. Election Day is only nine weeks away!
Door-knocking seems to be the best way to reach voters. But if you would prefer to phonebank or text, the Conole campaign is also planning those activities for later in the campaign. And you can always reach out to friends and family about the importance of voting on November 8.
And you can read Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny’s post on how the new NY22 came to be, and it’s political composition.