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We Believe Reed Has The Best Chance To Represent Our Congressional District

No one should be happy with the ongoing stalemate in Congress over the latest round of COVID-19 relief funding or a host of important issues ranging from immigration reform to health care.

The office of President of the United States is powerful, but not omnipotent. Members of the Senate and House of Representatives will spend the next two years debating legislation affecting the country at large and each individual congressional district.

Mitrano ran strongly in 2018, receiving 45.8% of the 240,255 votes cast in the 23rd Congressional District. The strong early pace of early voting and the large number of mail-in and absentee ballots requested this year indicate higher voter turnout than there was two years ago, so it is certainly not inconceivable that Mitrano could win the race. The race is almost certain to be close again. Were she to win, Mitrano would surely perform well on issues like broadband expansion and cybersecurity. She would listen and be a presence in the district.

The record doesn’t show that Mitrano is the extreme Ithaca liberal she is portrayed to be by Reed, nor does the record show that Reed is the yes man for President Trump that he is portrayed to be. As is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

We are disappointed in what we see as the Reed campaign’s distortion of Mitrano’s stance on public safety. Inflammatory anti-police rhetoric from a private contractor who had done work for Mitrano’s campaign is a far cry from the Mitrano campaign actually supporting anti-police groups. Support for Justice and Policing Act, meanwhile, is certainly not a sign that Mitrano supports defunding police, which we don’t see in the bill. Either way, Mitrano’s public safety stance is far from the deciding factor in the race that recent television advertisements claim it should be.

In a tight race, it is the familiar old issue of bipartisanship and gridlock that decides our endorsement. Mitrano criticizes the Problem Solvers Caucus, of which Reed is co-chairman, as a kabuki theater that didn’t play a major role in ending the 35-day government shutdown in December and January 2018-19, votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the HEROES Act, the most recent Democrat-backed COVID-19 relief bill.

Mitrano makes a good point about the caucus’ impact, but what is her alternative? Take the COVID-19 relief bill as an example. Would Mitrano simply vote in lockstep with House Democrats on a COVID bill that is far too expensive? The Democrats’ latest bill is $800 million less than the first version of the HEROES Act — or closer to the plan proposed by Reed and the Problem Solvers Caucus than the version espoused for months by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Problem Solvers Caucus has, in fact, advocated for middle ground solutions on health care, the government shutdown and a new round of COVID-19 relief.

Its efficacy problem isn’t its proposals, but the fact there aren’t enough members of Congress willing to join. Reed is in on the ground floor of a group that needs to expand, and the congressman deserves two more years to continue working with the Problem Solvers Caucus to end this interminable gridlock.

The 23rd Congressional District is a district that is, for the most part, right of the political center. We believe Reed has the best chance of more effectively representing the 23rd Congressional District for two more years given his existing connections and work with the Problem Solvers Caucus.

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