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Long-shot Gillibrand opponent welcomes unexpected shout-out from Trump

Chele Farley for Senate Facebook Page
Chele Farley with President Trump

A shout-out from President Trump has given a boost to a long-shot hopeful in the New York Senate race.

Republican Chele Farley has a decidedly uphill battle in her race against Democrat incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand. Polls conducted earlier this summer have Gillibrand, running for her second full term in the Senate, ahead of Farley by an average of 29 points. So Farley was pleased when Trump called out her name at a Utica fundraiser earlier this month.

"I want to thank Chele Farley," Trump said. "Good luck.”

“It was unexpected," Farley said. "But I was very happy that he talked about how he sees me on TV all the time, and that I’m working hard, and that on the merits, I should win.”

Trump only won 36 percent of the vote in his home state in 2016. But Farley does not think a connection with Trump will hurt her in the race against Gillibrand.

"When the Trump administration's policies are good for New York, and so many are, I’m supportive," Farley said. "But when they aren’t good for New York, like the tax bill, I will negotiate and make them better. That’s what I do, I’m a negotiator.”

If elected, she would try to get back the state and local tax deductions New York homeowners lost in the Trump tax overhaul.

Farley contends that Gillibrand has been an ineffective senator and said that will be a tenet of her campaign going forward.

"Kirsten Gillibrand, for the last six years, since the people last elected her, hasn’t done anything," Farley said. "This is something I’m talking about all the time. In 11 and a half years she’s gotten one bill passed, to name a post office. The people of New York deserve someone who’s going to work with the people of New York.”

Farley lives in Manhattan with her family, and works in the financial sector.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.