Democratic candidate Tracy Mitrano says voters, not campaign cash, will drive the election

Rep. Tom Reed has over $1 million more than his newly minted challenger, Democrat Tracy Mitrano, in campaign cash.

Mitrano this week was declared the winner to face Republican incumbent Reed in November following a five-way Democratic primary. With fewer than 30 votes separating Mitrano and candidate Max Della Pia after the June 26 primary, Della Pia conceded the race to Mitrano in a call for unity.

Mitrano will need that unity — and strong financial backing as well — in the predominantly Republican 23rd District where Reed seeks a fourth term.

Mitrano said Thursday there’s no question fundraising will be an important element in her campaign.  “We expect to do very well in that,” she said.

“But at the end of the day it’s not the dollar that walks into the voting booth,” she added. “It’s the person.”

Reed “can have all the money in the world but he has to run against his record,” Mitrano said. Saying Reed has turned his back on the district, she talked about the troubles facing small businesses and farmers, students overcome with debt, debilitating health care costs and threats to the environment.

An internet security and information technology expert, Mitrano was co-director of Cornell University’s Institute for Internet Culture and director of information technology policy at Cornell. She has taught in her fields covering internet, history and law at Ithaca College, Cornell and Syracuse universities and at University of Buffalo.

On campaign finances, according to the most recent report by the Federal Election Commission, as of June 6 Reed had nearly $1.1 million on hand. Mitrano had under $57,000, having spent $114,933 as of early June prior to the primary.

Reed, a former Corning mayor who was elected in 2010, has been endorsed by all the GOP chairs in the 11-county district. He has the backing of the Conservative and Independence parties which means he will appear on three lines, to include Republican, in the mid-term election.

Mitrano, who has lived throughout the district and now lives in Penn Yan, will also appear on three lines in November with endorsements by the Working Families and Women’s Equality parties. Endorsements include Mary Luckern, the first female town supervisor of Geneva in Ontario County; former New York Lt. Gov. Mary Anne Krupsak, the first female lieutenant governor of New York; and Mayors Sam Schimizzi of Watkins Glen, Svante Myrick of Ithaca and Bill Boland of Corning.