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Cheney changes races, from State Senate to U.S. Congress

MILLERTON — Democrat Jamie Cheney, who has slowly but consistently been making a name for herself in the Harlem Valley while campaigning against incumbent Republican State Senator Sue Serino (R-41), announced on Twitter Saturday morning, May 21, that she will instead seek a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“We face critical challenges in New York — the stakes are unimaginably high,” stated Cheney. “Now more than ever, the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier needs strong leadership in Washington, D.C. As a small business owner, farmer and mother to young children, I understand firsthand the hurdles so many families in our community face.”

Running for the newly redrawn 19th Congressional District, Cheney will seek to fill the seat that is currently held by U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-D-19), the man Governor Kathy Hochul just tapped to be her second in command.

She will face popular Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro of Red Hook come November, who announced his intent to run for Delgado’s seat well before he was pegged to be the state’s next lieutenant governor.

Cheney and her husband run a 60-head beef farm called Falcons Fields in the town of North East, on the border of Columbia County.

Her platform focuses on lowering the cost of living, bringing good jobs back, and increasing the availability of affordable housing and healthcare options for working families. She is also fighting to regain women their full reproductive rights across this country and ensure they remain in the Empire State.

Before moving to the Millerton area in 2020, Cheney lived in Rhinebeck, which was not in the newly redrawn 41st State Senate District. Cheney challenged Serino from that northern Dutchess County town.

Serino is running for her fifth two-year term to return to Albany.

Cheney later moved to North East as one of her sons requires more specific educational needs, according to her spokesman Peter Brown.

He said the rumor of her moving to be located within a specific political district that’s “somehow floating around” is untrue. Brown said it especially doesn’t make sense as Millerton is not within District 41.

Cheney is now seeking a seat in the U.S. Congressional District 19; the revised district does not include any portion of Dutchess County. Congressional districts were recently redrawn by a court-appointed Special Master.

District 19 encompasses 11 counties in part or whole, from Cortland to Columbia, and includes the cities of Binghamton, Hudson, Ithaca and Kingston.

Congressmembers do not have to reside within the districts they represent.

When asked why Cheney made the switch from seeking a seat in the State Senate to the House of Representatives, Brown said the short answer was “she was asked to run.”

The longer answer is  more involved.

“She’s been running against Sue Serino and has been for some time,” said Brown. “Michelle Hinchey lives in Saugerties; with the new district, as the incumbent, she should be the one to take on Sue Serino. So Jamie was to asked to run… and deferred to Sen. Hinchey in her stead.

“And what happened to Delgado to open his seat in 19th, with Pat Ryan running in the special, after all that ironed itself out, Jamie was asked to run since she had so much put into it at this point and was perfectly positioned to do it.”

Cheney had made her original announcement about entering the State Senate race last fall, and has been campaigning for at least seven months getting to know constituents and their concerns.

“The feedback has been excellent; overwhelmingly positive,” said Brown.

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