Bridie Farrell, the Democratic candidate in the race to represent New York’s 21st congressional district, announced in a statement Friday that she would end her bid to unseat Representative Elise Stefanik.
Farrell, a former nationally ranked speed skater and advocate for sexual assault victims, said she has decided to end her campaign “after reviewing the new district maps.”
“New York’s 21st District now has a 23-point Republican advantage instead of the eight-point margin it had when I launched my campaign,” she says. “I see no more path to victory for a Democrat in this race.”
The Democratic-majority state legislature this month passed a major reconfiguration of congressional districts across the state, including NY-21. A lawsuit challenging the redistricting effort has been filed by a group of Republican voters in the state Supreme Court.
“I am proud of our campaign. It was entirely driven by you and made possible by your support,” Farrell, of North River, said in a statement Friday. “This support has traveled throughout the North Country where I have heard from constituents about what our leaders need to focus on. These needs include jobs, child care, education, health care, housing, broadband and so on. Even with this list, what I still heard was a united love and admiration for the North Country and our region.
“I always sincerely believe that there is more that unites us than divides us”, she added. “I hope you will too, and that you will remain engaged in the beautiful and fragile process of American democracy.”
Farrell grew up in Saratoga Springs. She started competing in speed skating at the national level at a very young age and hoped to make it to the Olympics. At age 12, she was the third-fastest short-track speed skater in the nation, according to Saratoga Living magazine. Later in life, she revealed that she was sexually and psychologically abused by her mentor, then 33-year-old Olympic silver medalist Andy Gabel.
Farrell is the founder of America Loves Kids, a nonprofit organization that advocates for survivors of child sexual abuse.
Farrell announced his candidacy for NY-21 last July. Since then, she has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars – $247,957, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Democrats Matt Castelli, a former CIA counterterrorism official; Matt Putorti, a Whitehall lawyer; and Wilton resident Ezra Watson are also showing up to represent NY-21. So far, Putorti is the main fundraiser for the Democratic candidates. He raised $533,471 and has $261,112 in cash, according to the FEC. Castelli, who was endorsed by most NY-21 county Democratic committees, raised $442,372 and has $289,001 in cash. Watson raised $3,562 and has $1,681 in cash.
Republican candidate Lonny Koons, a lorry driver from West Leyden, also threw his hat in the ring to represent NY-21. He raised $7,856 and has $869 in cash.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, easily outscored her opponents with more than $3.1 million in cash and more than $4.5 million raised, according to the FEC.
Alex DeGrasse, Stefanik’s senior adviser, said in a statement that he was “no surprises” that Farrell killed her “failed” countryside. He said “Democrats in upstate New York and across the country are in total freefall.” He also panned the remaining Democratic candidates.
“We look forward to crushing any radical extremists who make it through the Democratic primary again, and we expect more Democrats to drop out to avoid embarrassment,” says DeGrasse.