On Monday, the New York Daily News reported that former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) is planning a comeback campaign to reclaim her seat that she lost in the 2018 blue wave — but her campaign is already off to a bad start.
Tenney had planned to formally announce her campaign on Tuesday with a campaign video, and solicited feedback on the video from her advisers on the weekend — but accidentally made the video public on Vimeo while sharing it with them, releasing her announcement days before she was ready to make it.
The video was taken down quickly, but the Daily News summarized: “She traded on the upstate/downstate divide, pledging to fight for her constituents in New York’s 22nd district, not the people of Brooklyn … The video was a far cry from Tenney’s usually combative style and she did not once tee off on Democrats.”
New York’s 22nd Congressional District, situated about halfway between Albany and Rochester and spanning cities up and down the rural central part of the state including Utica, Rome, Cortland, and Binghamton, was one of the most conservative districts to flip to the Democrats in the 2018 cycle — it is 13 points more Republican than the country as a whole.
But Tenney, a firm supporter of the president, kept miring herself in controversy, from claiming that most mass shooters are Democrats, to suggesting that the “Deep State” bought Ben Carson a dining room set, to warning her staffers to be careful because her Italian-American opponent might be tied to the mob.
If her campaign rollout is an omen, she may struggle to convince the people of Upstate New York that she has earned back their vote.