New York State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi announced Wednesday that he will seek his party’s nomination to challenge Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney next year in the upstate 22nd congressional district.
Tenney is a freshman member of the House, having won election in 2016 after Republican Rep. Richard Hanna chose not to seek reelection. Brindisi, of Utica, has to be considered a serious contender with only an obscure computer science professor challenging him for the Democratic nomination.
“I think it’s about time we have an independent voice representing this congressional district,” Brindisi said in an interview with the USA Today Network’s Albany Bureau. “I have a record of standing up to my own party when I thought they were wrong, and I have a record of reaching across the aisle to work with my Republicans colleagues — and that is something the American people want: a common-sense consensus-builder.”
Tenney won the general election by just over 5 points in 2016. Charlie Cooke, Stu Rothenberg, and Larry Sabato all call the race in 2018 a likely Republican hold, but Brindisi should make things interesting, especially if Trump is drowning with a sub-40 percent approval rating as Election Day approaches.
Daily Kos notes that the NY-22nd is still likely to be a tough district for Dems to flip, “but Tenney’s hard-right image and her support for TrumpCare could give Team Blue an opening.”
Taking back the House will be an uphill battle for Democrats, but if they have any shot, districts like this one will be the key.