Thursday, April 27, 2017

Upstate Democrats say the tide is turning in their favor

Democrats in upstate New York say they may be down from the losses they suffered in the 2016 election, but not out. Party officials hope the pushback to the Republican administration in Washington, D.C., will sweep local Democrats to victory later this year.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently rallied an enthusiastic crowd of Democrats in downtown Syracuse who were looking for inspiration and guidance after a tough election cycle. Gillibrand offered hope, saying the political climate today is reminiscent of 2006 when she and enough Democrats were elected to take control of Congress.

"This movement, this moment right now is unique," Gillibrand said. "It’s unique in our history. I have never seen the grassroots be more powerful or important in changing social outcomes. I can't tell you how inspiring it was for me to be part of that women's march - it was the most inspiring moment of my political life."

Gillibrand was addressing the annual convention of the New York State Rural Democratic Conference, which represents and supports Democrats in 47 upstate counties. Conference Vice Chair Judith Hunter says while President Donald Trump won most of the state's rural counties, the Democrats down ballot did not fare as poorly.

"The Democratic district attorney in my county won won by 6,000 votes. Now in my small county, that’s a landslide," Hunter said. "So it’s not like Democrats were rejected everywhere and at all levels."

But Hunter says upstate Democrats are benefiting from the energy and interest that's fueling activism and marches throughout the country, like the women's marches and Indivisible grassroots groups. They hope to capture that enthusiasm for the local elections this fall.  Read full post

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