Democrats Hope New York Special Election Will Be An Abortion Rights Bellwether

by | Aug 19, 2022 | Politics

Next Tuesday, voters in New York’s Hudson Valley will determine who will fill a vacant seat in Congress for the next four months. But a potentially short stint in Washington isn’t the only thing at stake: The race could serve as a bellwether for how Democrats will fare in a tough election season as they hope for a boost from anger over abortion rights.“My race is the first competitive congressional election in a post-Roe world, and is a national referendum on whether women have the right to control their own bodies,” Democratic candidate Pat Ryan, currently the Ulster County Executive, told HuffPost in a statement.AdvertisementRyan is running against Republican and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro for the 19th Congressional District seat. It has been vacant since May, when New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) appointed then-Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) as her lieutenant governor after his predecessor was indicted.If he wins, Ryan wouldn’t be in the seat for long. New York recently redrew its districts, and he is due to run in the new 18th District, where he is a heavy favorite for the Democratic nomination.For Molinaro, the stakes are arguably higher. Although his current home in Red Hook is not in the newly redrawn 19th District, he is running again there in November regardless of Tuesday’s outcome. A win now would give him the chance to run as an incumbent. Ryan is behind in the polls. But in just three months, he exceeded Molinaro’s fundraising haul over a much longer period. He has made protecting abortion rights the focus of virtually all of his advertising. His campaign began shortly before the Supreme Court overturned Roe …

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