Reviving the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, addressing food insecurity and making higher education more affordable are among the issues Democrat Tracy Mitrano and Republican incumbent Tom Reed will face as the two run for the 23rd Congressional District seat.
Mitrano worked as a lawyer before becoming the director of information technology policy at Cornell University in 2014 and two years later, she created a cybersecurity certificate program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
The Penn Yan resident lost to Reed in 2018.
Her biggest agenda items include revitalizing the district’s economy, investing in infrastructure and reforming education so people can have the experience they need for good-paying jobs.
Reed, the 10-year incumbent, serves on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and is part of the bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus.
He hopes to work to get a COVID vaccine widely available, restore the economy to its pre-pandemic state, bring manufacturing back to the U.S., to promote innovation in technology to tackle climate change.
The district consists of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Steuben, Yates, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins and Chemung counties and parts of Ontario and Tioga counties. Republicans outnumber Democrats, 163,670 to 142,478, state Board of Elections data show.
The district has 436,575 active voters.
Mitrano: Mitrano said the federal government should work to implement a progressive tax on people who make over $400,000 a year in proportion to their income.
Additionally, she said, money going toward large businesses corporations instead should be channeled to families and small businesses.
Reed: Reed said that he supports the $1.8 trillion stimulus package now in the Senate to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, he’s working to create incentives to businesses adding manufacturing jobs to the U.S. to spur economic growth.
Reed: Reed has proposed an endowment tax on affluent colleges and universities that would tax colleges like private foundations. This would help provide money for first-generation college students and students who don’t receive much financial aid.
Additionally, he’ll support programs in industries like healthcare that can attract more workers in return for helping them pay off student debt.
Mitrano: To help make higher education more affordable, a necessity in a district that features many well-respected colleges and universities, Mitrano said she would work to make the federal government contribute more into the cost of tuition and work to reduce interest rates on student loans
Mitrano: In parts of the district like Groton and Dryden, where internet connectivity can be an issue, Mitrano said she would advocate for the internet to be treated like other utilities, such as telephone and electricity. It is in the federal government’s best interest that all of the country is wired for high-speed internet, she added.
Reed: Reed is working to support the $1.8 trillion stimulus package in the Senate, which includes at least $25 billion for broadband access.
Long term, he plans on using whatever leftover money there is from stimulus funds to expand existing broadband and implement 5G communications.
Reed: Reed would seek to work with school districts for direct federal aid, rather than filtered through the state. He claimed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been sitting on $13 billion in federal funding for schools.
“It really is highlighting the state capitol to get its fiscal house in order,” he said.
Mitrano: Mitrano in part attributed schools’ need to a failure by the Trump administration for not thinking about municipalities, rather large corporations. She would alleviate that by implementing a higher sales tax for the top 1% of earners.
Mitrano said that if she is elected, she would be in the majority of the House, which would allow her to be able to create change, which she says Reed has not done in 10 years.
“Then people will recognize they have a real choice in this election,” she said.