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NY-22 Candidate Brindisi Clarifies Record After "Lies" From Incumbent Tenney


President Trump’s visit to Utica earlier this week for a fundraiser brought more attention to a congressional race that’s already one of the most competitive in the nation. 

Democrat Anthony Brinsidi is looking to upset freshman representative Claudia Tenney, who’s political ads try to malign her challenger and his positions.  Brindisi says her campaign is based on negativity.

"One would think after being in Congress for two years, the first ads you'd come out with would be something about an accomplishment.  Unfortunately, she's chosen this scorched earth policy by running all these negative ads and having million dollars of her super PAC help fund them.  But they're lies, and it's my job to get out there and correct the record.  That's why we've come out with our ad to highlight some of the things I've accomplished during my time in the state assembly,  and to talk about the issues that are important in this campaign."

He says he’s heard many concerns on the campaign trail. 

"Whether it's health insurance, the high cost of prescription drugs, jobs and the economy, or the constant attack on social security and medicare by leaders in Washington.  These are the things people in the 22nd district wake up every day and worry about."

Brindisi says health care premiums are rising due to the elimination of the individual mandate, and that only the wealthiest are seeing the benefits of the tax bill.  Tenney has said Brindisi would be a puppet of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and has tried to align him with whom she calls a “corrupt Governor Cuomo.”  Brindisi says it’s all untrue.

 "I've gone toe-to-toe with the governor on economic development, education, and other issues.   You'll never find my opponent criticizing someone in her own party because she just doesn't do it.  I do it all the time."

He says he will NOT support Pelosi as speaker if elected because he feels it’s time for new leadership on both sides of the aisle.  


Utica-area congressmember Claudia Tenney was back to work in her district Tuesday after hosting none other than President Trump for a fundraiser on her behalf.  She calls it an honor and a privilege to welcome the first sitting president to Utica since Harry Truman 70 years ago.  Tenney says Trump’s visit tells residents that she’s a strong advocate for her district.

"That I have a voice for them in Washington, and that he's listening.  He cares enough about our region to come and meet and support their representative in Washington, saying this is the person you need to support."

Tenney is in a tight race against democrat Anthony Brindisi in a very divided 22nd district.  That was evident as thousands of the president’s supporters and detractors filled the streets near the Hotel Utica where the fundraiser was held.  Tenney claims the number of protesters was exaggerated, and that most were bused-in and paid.

"It's just an anti-Trump movement.  It's not a movement about empowering Americans and getting people back to work.  And yet, the president, despite what they say about him, we're seeing historic lows in unemployement across all kinds of sectors.  We're seeing the economy just surging ahead.  We're seeing great opportunity, jobs created.  These people are trapped in the resist movement, and they have to resort to hiring people to come and protest."

Tenney accuses them of championing socialism while she and the president are promoting freedom, enterprise, and economic opportunity.  Onondaga County GOP committee chair Tom Dadey attended the fundraiser, which he says was full of excitement and enthusiasm.  He appreciates that everyone is free to show their support…or not.

"Whether you want to write a check for a political donation to your favorite candidate; whether you want to stand on the sidewalk and wave a flag in support of the president; or, whether you want to protest some of the things the president has done.  You can't do that in any other country."

For his part, Anthony Brindisi held what he called a “people powered” fundraiser nearby, starting at $10  ticket.  That contrasts with the $5,000 to $15,000 to attend the reception with President Trump.

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