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Political Note #284   Dana Balter NY CD 24

2020                             General Election

Dana Balter again.  I rarely write Notes to support one or another candidate in a competitive primary.  Dana Balter has a primary.  It does not look competitive. On March 30, reported on a recent poll which had Dana Balter leading her primary opponent 64-21.

For our purposes, think of Dana Balter as the nominee. She will run again against incumbent Republican John Katko, to whom she lost by 5 points in 2018.

Start donating now to Dana Balter so that she can make a stronger run against Katko this time.  She is unusual.  In general, candidates who succeed (or come close to succeeding, as was the case for her in 2018) are moderate or conservative Democrats.  In 2018, for instance, ten of the forty who flipped seats had a military connection.  Most of the forty who flipped Republican seats joined either the conservative Blue Dog Coalition or the moderate New Democrat Coalition.  Only a few joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

If Dana Balter were to be elected, she would probably join the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  In her 2018 campaign she advocated a version of Medicare for All and called for the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.  A former teacher, she became the director of education for a disabilities non-profit.

Dana Balter’s campaign experiences have demonstrated the extent to which those who manage the political arm of the Democratic Party, the DCCC, much prefer moderate or conservative candidates.  In 2018,after Dana Balter had locked up the support of county Democratic Committees, national Democrats sought a primary opponent for her, an opponent she defeated handily.

In 2020, Dana Balter had an early primary opponent, probably with similar national support.  Her primary opponent was able to gain County Committee support from the two most heavily populated counties.   That support did not matter.  She is winning again handily.

Dana Balter is, it turns out, an effective politician.  She teaches Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs where she is also getting a doctorate.  She has been a central figure of the Central New York Solidarity Coalition.  These are progressive organizations she gets to work together for political goals.  The organization recalls Upstate New York’s national leadership for the abolition of slavery and for women’s suffrage.  They pledge, for instance, “to tear down the walls that divide and impoverish us.”

Do not underestimate someone who can coordinate groups who identify with Central New York’s radical history and can create an effective organization out of them.  They list no individual leaders on their website.  Their opponent appears on the website.  The incumbent Congressman John Katco.  They list his voting record. They point out his support for Trump’s tax cut, his votes to ban abortion his votes to allow those who are adjudicated as mentally incompetent to own firearms.  It is enough to make a Progressive gnash her or his teeth.

Can make me gnash my teeth, too.  As for Dana Balter, good for her.  Don’t get me wrong.  There is a good reason why it took moderate and conservative Democrats to flip many of the Republican Congressional seats. Their districts are conservative.  I love supporting Democrats in 2018 like Ben McAdams (UT), Joe Cunningham (NC), Abigail Spanberger (IA), and Kendra Horn (OK).  I support them again in 2020.  We need the full spectrum of the Democratic Party in Congress.  We need Dana Balter https://electdanabalter.comProvide her with some support.  Help elect an ideologically diverse Democratic Congress.

Below are Congressional seats Democrats are trying to flip from incumbent Republicans.  The ones with asterisks ran in 2018*  In 2018, Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the House.  Let’s flip 20 more. 


Arizona 06                        Hiral Tipirneni* to beat incumbent David Schweikert

Arkansas 02.                    Joyce Elliott to beat incumbent French Hill

California 50                     Ammar Campa-Hajjar* to win this now open Rep seat

Florida 16                         Margaret Good to beat incumbent Vern Buchanan

Illinois 13                          Betsy D Londrigen* to beat incumbent Rodney Davis

Indiana 05                        Christina Hale to win this open Republican seat

Iowa 04                              JD Scholten* to beat incumbent Steve King

Kansas 02                          Michelle De La Isla to beat incumbent Steve Watkins

Michigan 03.                    Hillary Scholten to defeat incumbent Independent Justin Amash and the Republican nominee

Michigan 06                      Jon Hoadley to beat incumbent Fred Upton

Minnesota 01                    Dan Feehan* to beat incumbent Jim Hagedorn

Missouri 02                       Jill Schupp to beat incumbent Ann Wagner

New York 02                     Jackie Gordon to win this open Republican seat

New York 21                     Tedra Cobb* to beat incumbent Elise Stefanic

New York 24                    Dana Balter* to beat incumbent John Katko

Ohio 04                            Mike Larsen to beat incumbent Jim Jordan

Pennsylvania 10              Eugene DePasquale to beat incumbent Scott Perry

Texas 02                           Sima Ladjervardian to beat incumbent Dan Crenshaw

Texas 21                           Wendy Davis to beat incumbent Chip Roy

Texas 22                          Sri Preston Kalkuri to win this open Republican seat

Texas 23                          Gina Ortiz Jones* to win this open Republican seat

Washington 03                 Carolyn Long* to beat incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler