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Ithaca Democrat seeks to be the climate candidate in a crowded NY 22 District race
Vanessa Fajans-Turner of Ithaca is throwing her hat into a crowded ring to try and win a Democratic primary in the 22nd Congressional district.

A new challenger is stepping into the ring as Democrats in the newly formed congressional District-22 prepares to select a candidate to represent for the upcoming election.

On Wednesday, Vanessa Fajans-Turner, 40, from Ithaca, filed her statement of candidacy for the chance to gain the democratic backing in the June 28 primary.

The newly formed congressional district groups Syracuse with urban based areas which could give Democrats a better chance in the upcoming elections. Incumbent Republican John Catco is not running for re-election. is reporting that Fajans-Turner, a Harvard graduate, spent over a decade in New York where she was in charge of global initiatives to tackle climate change and social justice issues.

She is now executive director of Bank FWD, an initiative aimed at persuading major banks to phase out financing for fossil fuels and to adopt climate-friendly financing policies.

If elected, Fajans-Turner said she wishes to change the local economy into a green manufacturing hub. She said she plans to spend her campaign in Syracuse and the suburbs once a week.

Fajans-Turner is the seventh candidate for the position, and is unique among the candidates as she has a grassroots background whereas many of her rivals are from either military or political positions.

The initial deadline for submitting letters of intent to run for Congress was January 7.

Because of her late declaration of candidacy, Turner won’t be considered when the Onondaga County Democratic Committee chooses a candidate Thursday (Feb. 17) at a virtual designating convention.

She and three other candidates who did not meet the deadline said they will attempt to force a primary election against the designated candidate.

The seven democrats Syracuse democrats have the potential to be the most on a primary ballot that had access to only four primary elections for the Syracuse-based seat in Congress, and none of those had more than three candidates.

The other candidates Fajans-Turner is facing are Francis Conole of Syracuse, Steven Holden of Camillus, and Sarah Klee Hood of DeWitt, Chol Majok from the Syracuse Common Council, Josh Riley of Johnson City, and Sam Roberts, of Syracuse.