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Tenney seeks to reintroduce herself, says Brindisi ‘masqueraded’ as moderate

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Payne Horning
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WRVO News
Claudia Tenney in 2018, when she launched her congressional reelection campaign in New Hartford.

Former Mohawk Valley Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney announced she’s running again to try and retake her seat from the incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica). Tenney wants to reintroduce herself to voters in the 22nd Congressional District, and cast Brindisi as a far-left political insider. 

Tenney said the 2018 election was a heartbreaker. She lost by less than two percentage points and said she’s received a lot of pressure from people who want her to get back into the race.

“There’s so much chaos going on in Washington," Tenney said. "There’s not really much getting done, at all. It’s just constant investigations, impeachment inquiry.”

Tenney said people in her district, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump in 2016, want to see more happen in Congress. She said to win, Brindisi masqueraded as a moderate, and she cited a FiveThirtyEight political analysis score that shows he only votes in line with President Trump’s position, 8% of the time.

“We need someone who is going to take a stand and really fight for us," Tenney said. "Not someone who is going to mince words and dance around impeachment, and dance around where he really stands.”

Brindisi has said he is not for the impeachment of Trump at this time, but wants to see where the facts lead. The House launched an impeachment inquiry over a whistleblower complaint and phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president. Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump's potential presidential rival, Joe Biden. Tenney said the transcript of the call is typical Trump.

“Kind of stream-of-consciousness," Tenney said. "Maybe saying some things probably, as a lawyer, I would’ve said, don’t say that. But I don't think there was anything that was illegal or impeachable in it."

Tenney said she was not happy with her 2018 campaign. She has a brand new campaign team now, and wants to correct some mistakes from the past, by doing more town halls and telling her personal story.

“Someone who’s lived the American dream in our area," Tenney said. "Struggled as a small business owner. Struggled to make payroll. Worked as a single parent. Took care of my parents when they were aging.” 

She still considers herself the political outsider. Three other Republicans also announced they’re seeking the Republican nomination in the congressional district, including Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell, and George Phillips and Franklin Sager, both high school teachers.