Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Nationally, Americans are turning their attention to the 2020 presidential election. Locally, Central New Yorkers are looking towards the 2019 elections. But Dana Balter, who lost to Congressmember John Katko in 2018, has her eyes set again on the 24th congressional seat.
In a former conservative stronghold, Balter came just five percentage points away from defeating Katko, who won his third consecutive term. According to Balter, that was the closest any candidate had come to defeating Katko.
Balter said this time she has started her campaign earlier and more people across the district know her. Balter said, if elected, she would work to lower taxes for the middle class and grow jobs in Central New York.
“Your job is to represent the people, and that means you need to do what’s in their best interest,” Balter said. “Part of your job as a representative is to learn as much as you can about the issue, and figure out what’ going to work the best. But then you have to communicate that with your constituents.
John Katko’s office did not respond to requests for an interview about the 2020 race.
According to Balter campaign manager Joe Farrell, one of the best ways for the public to learn about candidates is through community events.
“It’s really important for Dana to be out in the district talking to people,” said Farrell. “Last weekend she did an Earth Day cleanup and a workers’ memorial day event.”
Syracuse University professor Shana Gadarian said, “A lot of what elections are about is not about changing public opinion. It’s about mobilizing those people who supported her last time.”
By starting campaigning so early and appearing at Democratic events for 2019 elections, Balter said she hopes to rally potential voters to cast a vote for her in 2020.