Will enough voters in the congressional district that includes Syracuse change their minds from this past election to send a Democrat to Washington?
Dana Balter is now the third Democrat trying to make that happen. Of course, what she has over the other candidates is a near-miss, losing to Rep. John Katko by around 5 percent last November. Balter entered the 2020 race Tuesday night and says people want more results on issues such as schools, health care and the economy.
"What we see in the chaos of Washington D.C. is a lot of distraction. That is meant to keep everyday Americans from thinking about those issues so that they don't hold responsible the people who are in office who are not taking action to help them address those challenges."
Another big issue Balter would plan to address is campaign finances. She calls it the biggest problem in politics.
"The influence of money in the system is so damaging. It keeps good people out of running for office. It provides incentive to candidates and elected representatives to do, not what's in the best interest of their constituents, but instead what's in the best interest of their big donors. It distorts our system in dangerous ways."
Balter has pledged not to take corporate PAC money for her campaign. She says she’s also hearing about the impacts from last year’s tax reform.
"I have had so many people reach out to me directly. They are either seeing smaller refunds or paying more in taxes this year, significantly more. To the point that they are really concerned about their finances."
She says the tax bill that was supposed to stimulate the economy has instead led to layoffs and jobs shipped overseas. Fellow Democrats Roger Misso and Francis Conole announced their candidacies earlier this month. Balter says she welcomes a primary.
"I think that primaries can be really healthy. One of the things that it gives us the opportunity to do, in a pretty significant way, is talk about substantive issues. When we don't have a primary, we often skip that part and talk more about the horse race aspect of politics. So I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to dig in and talk about the issues, have serious conversations about the challenges facing our communities and see who has the best ideas for solving them."
Balter hopes the energy she felt from last year’s campaign is still there. And she says she’s ready to hear form people at any community center, neighborhood or living room.