Lily Sellers ’22
In New York’s 22nd congressional district, incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) is running against former congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R). During the last election in 2018, Tenney was holding the house seat and lost by a margin of less than 4,500 to Brindisi. In fact, Tenney did not concede until 25 days after the election.
The main local issue for this election is how to combat the monopoly that local internet provider, Spectrum, has created. In 2016, when Time Warner Cable merged with Charter Communications, the lack of competition and price increases began. In the 4 years since, Spectrum has increased prices by almost 6 times and, in turn, has not reached any of the intended benchmarks put in place prior to the merger. Tenney believes that this is a state-level issue and that the company needs to be broken up in order to allow for natural competition and price decreases. However, Brindisi believes that from a federal level, accountability and transparency should force Spectrum to ensure trust and decrease prices on their own.
On the issue of COVID-19, both Tenney and Brindisi believe that there needs to be more financial help from the government. Other than the need for money, mainly to small businesses, Tenney believes that the federal response to the pandemic has been very well done. Tenney has also worked with Vice President Pence since the beginning and feels as though their implementations have been beneficial. However, Brindisi believes that the federal government should have had a national testing strategy and enforced and produced more PPE, especially to those who are working on the front lines.
Police reform has been a hot topic across most of America recently. Both candidates believe that defunding the police is not a reasonable option. Tenney wishes for more training for officers and focus on retention within the career. Tenney and Brindisi both believe that more time and funding should be given to the mental health side of the career, putting more focus on the addiction and drug usage that coincides with many interactions with the police.
Finally, the 2020 Presidential election and election security are major topics for this year’s candidates. Both candidates have voiced their support for their respective parties, however, they both have also stated the need for bipartisan support independent of the election. Tenney is concerned with election fraud from a domestic front. She believes that with the high number of absentee ballots due to COVID-19, there is a higher chance of fraud. Brindisi is also concerned with election security, but from an international sense. He believes that due to Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, there should be more safety and security going into the outcome of the 2020 election.
As of October 1, 2020, Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Cook Political Report indicate that the race is a toss-up, while Insider Elections has indicated that the election is tilted Democratic.