UTICA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, who won her seat by 109 votes, is already running for re-election, but she says she’s not surprised her former challenger is not.
Last week, Democrat Anthony Brindisi announced he will not campaign for a congressional seat in the 2022 election. Brindisi was elected as the 22nd district’s congressman in 2018, but fell short in the 2020 election to Republican Tenney.
Brindisi cited spending time with his children as the main factor in his decision to not run for re-election.
“I know that the agenda that he passed when he was in his term in congress is everything that everyone is very concerned about,” said Tenney. “He voted for HR-1, the complete federal takeover of elections, and I think he knows that will be used against him in a race.”
She continued, “He voted against the police, to defund the police. He voted for all the spending that has happened. He supports, almost, entirely the Albany agenda that is really wreaking havoc on our communities while he was in the assembly. Some of those things didn’t pass, but now they’ve passed since he went to congress, so I think that weighs in heavily on what his mindset is.”
Tenney suggests the far-left, progressive agenda that came from Brindisi’s term and declining popularity for democrats may have also contributed to his decision. Despite their differences, Tenney recognizes the work she and Brindisi have done as both colleagues and opponents and understands his decision to step away from congress.
She said, “I just want to say to Anthony Brindisi, we were colleagues in the assembly. We had two tough races, but we’re both lawyers, and we’re both used to sort of the rough and tumble of a campaign, and I thank him for his service. And you know I’m sure he’s definitely seen how hard it is to do this job, and I know we both had difficult jobs in Albany as well. His children are at an age where they would probably like to see their father around more, so I respect his decision to do that.”
Tenney believes this will be a big year for republicans to take back the house, and she is hopeful that many of those republicans will be representing New York state. However, it is too early to make any predictions about the race for either party without knowing the results of the redistricting.
The State Board of Elections says barring any legal hold ups the new district lines will be set for the 2022 election. Voting for the new district lines is expected to take place this fall.