New York's 22nd congressional district: Brindisi wins Democratic ticket

New York State Senator Anthony Brindisi speaks to local residents during a town hall meeting hosted by Indivisible Cortland County at the United Presbyterian Church in February 2016 (Melanie G./Cortland Voice).

New York State Assembly member Anthony Brindisi secured the Democratic nomination in an uncontested Democratic primary Tuesday, paving the way for his run against Congresswoman Claudia Tenney.

“I decided to run for office because I believe that the extremes on both sides of the aisle are driving the conversation in Washington right now,” Brindisi said in a recent phone interview with the Cortland Voice. “The middle class and working individuals in upstate New York are being left out of the conversation, and I believe that we need more independently minded representatives in Washington who can actually get things done.”

Born and raised in Utica, N.Y., Brindisi graduated from Mohawk Valley Community College and Siena College before receiving his law degree at Albany Law School. He was elected to the State Assembly in 2011.

One of the focal points of Brindisi’s campaign has been increasing funding for education in low-income school districts. He would also like to see an increase in job training opportunities, apprentice programs, and economic growth, according to his website.

“I’ve never shied away from a fight against leaders in my own party during my time in Albany, and I’m known as someone who works really well across the aisle. We need more of that in Washington,” Brindisi said.

New York’s 22nd congressional district includes Cortland, Chenango, Madison, and Oneida counties, and parts of Broome, Herkimer, Oswego, and Tioga counties. Brindisi is running against Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, who was elected in 2016 to replace former U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna after he decided not to run for re-election.

“The biggest difference between my opponent and I is that I’m not taking any corporate special interest money in this election,” Brindisi said. “Her biggest donors are Wall Street, the oil and gas industry, and telecommunications giants that don’t have our best interest in mind.”

Born and raised in Utica, N.Y., Brindisi currently resides there with his wife, Erica, and their two children.

“I believe the most important trait that any elected official can have is to be a good listener. That’s why I’ve been holding town hall meetings across the district to learn firsthand the concerns of the people around the 22nd district, and I’ll continue to do so even after elected.”

In February, Brindisi visited Cortland for a town hall meeting at the United Presbyterian Church. Congresswoman Tenney has not held a town hall meeting in Cortland since being elected. 

The 22nd Congressional District election will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.