MILTON, N.Y. >> Emily Martz, one of five candidates vying to become the Democratic opponent of incumbent Elise Stefanik in New York’s 21st congressional district, spoke to voters recently at a meeting hosted by the Town of Milton Democratic Committee.
In her opening remarks, Martz said that the race for the 21st District is about “our core American principles.”
“If people work hard, they deserve to succeed. But for too many people, that is just not the case,” Martz said.
Martz is running on a platform of developing jobs based on a clean energy economy, fixing the healthcare system and advocating for universal healthcare, improving New York’s education system, and working for small businesses and farmers.
Martz, who is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and a former professor at the University of Delaware and Paul Smith’s College, has also served as director of pperations and finance for Adirondack North Country Association since 2014.
During her tenure there, Martz worked with local and regional farmers, business owners, elected officials and leaders of the community to create jobs and stimulate business opportunities, particularly in the field of clean energy.
During her remarks to the voters at the Milton event, she described how her efforts to bring solar energy to North Country residents resulted in access to affordable clean energy for consumers and steady business growth for Apex Solar, a provider of solar power in the region.
Martz has resigned from ADK North Country Association to devote herself to campaigning full-time in advance of the June 26 Democratic primary. She is competing in a shrinking, but still crowded, field that includes Tedra Cobb of Canton, Katie Wilson of Keene, Patrick Nelson of Stillwater and Dylan Ratigan of Lake Placid. The Green Party also has a candidate, Lynn Kahn of Schroon Lake. Five other candidates have withdrawn from the race, including Don Boyajian, Tanya Boone, Sara Idleman, David Mastrianni and Ronald Kim. Boyajian is now running for New York State Assembly.
To date, Martz said she has raised more than $250,000 and she expressed optimism about her ability to emerge as the winner of the June primary.
In a Q & A period following Martz’s remarks, she was asked what made her stand out from the other Democratic challengers in the field. She responded that she understands how to listen and build relationships with people and she has a strong financial background and understanding of often complex issues. She also claimed that her Republican opponent, Stefanik, has failed to develop relationships with her constituents.
“I am the only one in the race who knows how to build business,” said Martz, referring to the work she has done in finance and later, with the ADK North Country Association. She stated that Stefanik “had no vision” for the future economy of the district.
She said that her authenticity and her patience to have conversations and “listen to what people say” are important in overcoming objections to her candidacy based on her party affiliation.
“This is not your mother’s or father’s Republican party,” she said, referring to the Trump administration. “That’s what will help people vote for a Democrat.”
She also said in Washington, the Republicans have been “the party of ‘no’ for so long, they don’t know how to say ‘yes’” on issues that affect the economy, infrastructure and healthcare issues. She added that Stefanik has been weakest in the areas of healthcare and the environment.
Representatives from Stefanik’s office did not respond to telephone or email requests for comments regarding Stefanik’s voting record during her time in Congress.