The most expensive race in the history of the 24th congressional district ends today. All told, republican incumbent John Katko and democratic challenger Dana Balter have raised a record $5 million combined for the race. But they know it’s not about fundraising anymore, all that matters now is getting people to the polls. Both candidates have been up since dawn trying to do precisely that. If you are unsure about voting in today’s election, Balter has a message for you.
“The most important thing is that people come out today and cast their votes,” Balter said. “This is our chance to stand up and raise our voices and demand the government we deserve. We are incredibly lucky to have the ability to do that in this country, and we want to make sure everybody exercises that right.”
At around 10 AM, Balter walked out of the Bishop Harrison Center in Syracuse after casting a ballot for herself. Standing outside the church and surrounded by family members, the first-time candidate gave her closing arguments for why to side with her in today’s election.
“Making sure that there are good jobs with fair wages so people can support their families, to making sure everybody has access to see a doctor when they need to, to working hard to get big money out of politics,” Balter said. “This whole thing is about bringing government back to the hands of the people where it belongs. We are in an era where we need people who have moral courage to stand up and do what’s right instead of what’s easy.”
Incumbent Congress-member John Katko also had a message for Central New Yorkers when we caught up with him today at the Our Lady of Pompei annual spaghetti supper.
“I have done what I said I was going to do,” Katko said. “I said I was going to Congress and be a bipartisan person. I’m one of the most bipartisan members in all of Congress. The most bipartisan member of all the Congressmen and women of New York State, and got a lot done. I got a lot done for the community so I would be happy to have another term.”
We'll likely know by tonight whether Katko will win a third term in Congress, or if Balter can unseat him in the so-called "blue wave."