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NY-22 congressional primary ballot: Francis Conole believes the second time's the charm

NY-22 Democratic Congressional Primary Candidate Francis Conole.
Conole For Congress
NY-22 democratic congressional primary candidate Francis Conole.

The democratic party’s endorsed candidate for the 22nd congressional district said he isn’t taking anything for granted heading into the primary.  Francis Conole is in a four-way race to see who heads to the general election.  This is Conole’s second time trying to convince enough of his fellow democrats to support him.

Back in 2020, Conole remembers opening his campaign office in early march only to close it less than two weeks later because of the pandemic. He suffered a bruising loss to Dana Balter, who ultimately lost to incumbent John Katko. Both of them are out of the picture this time around, but Conole says the circumstances are still dynamic.

"We have been in a three-way primary, an eight-way primary, we're in a four-way primary now. Multiple iterations of redistricting, and I mean there was a period there even in May where we didn't have a district, and so it has been a wild year," Conole said.

Conole said what sets him apart from his competitors are his deep ties to the community and his military service.

"I went to naval academy, I served on the ground in Iraq, I deployed up to Ukraine, multiple deployments over the Middle East, but also really my service and my experience at senior levels of the Federal Government both in our intelligence community and also at the Pentagon as an advisor to the Secretary of Defense," Conole said.

He said he’s committed to fighting for economic opportunity and reversing four decades of what he calls economic warfare.

"Bad trade deals, gutting our unions, corporations that ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks doing it, tax deals that give all the benefits to the millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class and working families," Conole said.

Conole said he’d also work to restore freedoms taken away by the U.S. supreme court, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

"That was an insane and extreme ruling. It deprives the rights of women, their freedom, their human rights, and it puts their lives at risk, so it's economic opportunity in Central New York but also freedoms on the ballot," Conole said.

This story is a part of our series of candidate profiles in New York's 22nd congressional district race. You can find all candidate profiles here.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at