Cobb Wins Congressional Primary, Stefanik Awaits 'Spirited Campaign'Posted: Updated:
Tedra Cobb handily won the Democratic primary for the 21st Congressional District. In fact, she received more votes than all the other candidates combined.
Cobb, who said health care reform inspired her to run for Congress, captured 56 percent of the vote. The second place winner, Dylan Ratigan, received 12 percent.
Ratigan, a former MSNBC anchor and Saranac Lake native, ran on the topics of campaign finance reform and wanting to reconfigure the banking system. Like other candidates on the ballot, he was more than 6,000 behind Cobb.
Katie Wilson, Emily Martz and Patrick Nelson came in third, fourth and fifth place. Don Boyajian, who dropped out of the race, came in last place.
The winner of the primary faces two-term incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik and Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn.
"Now, I need everyone's help to finish the goal we all set out to accomplish, defeating Elise Stefanik," Cobb said to the supporters packed in a room at Canton's Best Western University Inn.
Cobb is a former St. Lawrence County legislator and has spent much of her congressional campaign focused on health care.
"I decided to run for office when Elise Stefanik voted to kick 64,400 of her own constituents off of health care," she said.
Stefanik's office congratulated Cobb on her win and said, "We look forward to a spirited campaign focused on the issues that matter."
After the race was called, Ratigan spoke about the state's political process.
"New York is a state that's ripe for political reform, to open its primaries, to make the voter access and registration ruling much much more accessible for more people," he said, "so we're really on that path right now."
"I know that everybody in this room tonight is pulling for the people of the north country and that is what tonight was about," Martz said.
In terms of overall Democratic voter turnout, less than 20 percent of the district's registered Democrats cast ballots during the primary.
Turnout is key if a Democrat wants to beat Stefanik in November.
In the entire congressional district, there are about 50,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats. So for the Dems, every vote counts.
In the 2016 presidential primary, 39 percent of Democrats turned out to vote. That's about 44,000 voters.