Mitrano Takes 23rd District Democratic Straw Poll In Ithaca


Celia Clarke

Ithaca, NY (WSKG) – With around 700 people in attendance, Tracy Mitrano was the winner of a Democratic straw poll on Monday at the State Theater in Ithaca. Six of the seven candidates vying for the seat held by Republican Tom Reed took part.

Mitrano received 297 votes, followed Max Della Pia with 80, Ian Golden with 69, Linda Andrei with 64, Eddie Sundquist with 38 and Charles Whalen with 22. Rick Gallant missed the event due to illness, but received one vote.

The moderator was Barbara Mink, a former area radio host. Her questions covered a range of topics from gun control to the opioid crisis to renewable energy. They also included how the candidates would appeal to Republican voters in the district.

Charlotte Littell is a high school senior and attended with her parents. She said it was important to think about how the candidates are communicating with Republican voters. It was a reminder that not everywhere in the district is as liberal as Ithaca.

However, Littel will be going to college next year and wanted to know about federal education spending. “Just about how the federal government is taking away funding from public education and funding more private education,” she said. “How that will affect younger students and people like me who are going into college.”

Others wanted to focus on the environment. There was not one question that dealt directly with global warming,” said Reverend Gary McCaslin of the First Baptist Church of Painted Post. “Everybody danced around, they said some things about fracking, they said something about renewable energy, but the whole idea of global warming was not addressed at all.”

The primary is set for June 26.