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Clemmie Harris ends campaign for central New York congressional seat

Clemmie Harris for Congress

Clemmie Harris (D-Camillus), a Utica University professor, ended his campaign for New York's 22nd Congressional District.

Harris said an audit showed he would fall short of the required 1,250 petition signatures to be on the Democratic ballot. He submitted 1,314 signatures, but 733 of those signatures were challenged in court by a campaign supporter of Sarah Klee Hood.

Harris accused the Klee Hood campaign of intentionally trying to keep him off the ballot.

"I had hoped that all Democratic Congressional candidates and their respective campaigns would abide by the unwritten rule that as Democrats we would not target and/or attack one another," Harris said "That no matter how different our respective approaches, we were to be united on two goals: the removal of NY 22’s GOP incumbent and MAGA ideologue, Brandon Williams; and shifting the balance of power to Democrats in the House of Representatives."

Harris thanked his supporters and said he would support the eventual Democratic nominee in November.

"I want to once again thank the many volunteers and supporters of my campaign for your incredible contributions," Harris said. "Our platform is part of an important discussion because of your support."

With Harris out of the race, the Democratic primary for NY-22 will now be a head-to-head matchup between State Sen. John Mannion (D-Geddes) and Dewitt Town Councilor Sarah Klee Hood (D-Dewitt). The winner will face incumbent Republican Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Sennett) in November.

The lines of the 22nd Congressional District are new for this election. The district covers all of Onondaga and Madison counties and includes portions of Oneida, Cayuga, and Cortland counties.

The Democratic primary date is set for June 25.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.