NORTH COUNTRY SMALL BUSINESS OWNER ENTERS RACE FOR NY-21
Democrats are lining up to run for Congress this year, especially here in New York, which features a lot swing districts. That includes the 21st district in the North Country, which flipped from blue to red in 2014 when Congressman Bill Owens retired and Elise Stefanik won a three-way race to replace him. Now, a local business owner is preparing to take on Congresswoman Stefanik. Democratic candidate Katie Wilson joins us to talk about her campaign.
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Keene lifer believes she’s the one to take on Stefanik
KEENE — As Katie Wilson followed her dog Derby and her neighbor’s dog Lucy up a mossy cascade of a path in this tiny mountain town she’s always called home, the 33-year-old small business owner talked about why she wants to represent the North Country in U.S. Congress.
The single mother of two — Cooper, 9, and Zinnia, 7 — bounded up a brook high above Hulls Falls, and in between tired breaths, she expressed her concerns with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro. Wilson also shared her own stances on issues as this private trail gave way to a clearing that looks down onto the field where an iconic crumbling red barn once sat along state Route 73.
“I think there is a tenacity,” she continued. “The people who have lived here through a few North Country winters, they understand the somewhat extreme nature and sense of community it takes to thrive here, and Elise doesn’t. This isn’t an attack on her personality; this is just straight fact: She hasn’t been through that.
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Democrat Katie Wilson Discusses NY 21 Congressional Race
A number of Democrats are lining up to challenge northern New York’s second-term Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. One of the latest to enter the race for the 21st district seat is businesswoman Katie Wilson from the Adirondack village of Keene. She says her campaign is about the future of the people and children across the district.
“This isn’t about me. This is about the future of my children that I think about every single day. And my aging father who is at risk of losing his home and means of survival here in the North Country. And I just realized that there are so many people across the North Country facing these same issues. These are real lives on the line here and I felt as though it was my duty as a citizen of the North Country and as a citizen of the country to do whatever I could to help make a difference.”
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Second Democratic congressional candidate announces in NY21
Katie Wilson, a political activist and business owner from Keene, on Tuesday announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 21st Congressional District.
“I am entering this race because I think the North Country truly deserves an independent voice in Washington,” she said in a telephone interview. “I am a local North Country girl, and I am willing to fight for our North Country way of life here.”
She is the second announced candidate in what is expected to be a crowded field of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, in 2018.
Wilson, a mother of two children, owns The Adirondack Attic, an antiques shop in Keene, and previously managed The Bark Eater Inn, an inn and catering business which also features horse stables in Keene.
Wilson said she would bring “real, every day life experience” to government.
“I am a mom myself. So I am dealing with my children’s education and my aging parent’s health care and all the issues facing normal people in our district,” she said.
Wilson said health care will be a major issue in her campaign.
“I am, of course, pretty focused on health care,” she said. “I think we really need to work to protect our seniors and our families and our veterans and make sure that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care that is close to home.”
Rural hospitals, education, job training, and employment for veterans are other key issues.
“I’m most concerned about listening to the concerns of others here in our district,” she said.
Wilson said her local roots and business experience set her apart from other candidates in the Democratic primary.
“I was born and raised here, and I’m working class. So my ability to connect with the vast majority of our constituents is large,” she said.
NCPR interview with Brian Mann after the health care vote:
Brian: That's right. And there is one other possible candidate who says she's exploring a run and is likely to jump in. That's Katie Wilson who runs a small business in the town of Keene. She was also at last week's healthcare protest in Plattsburgh.
"I do think that she's vulnerable. We know that she has a huge machine behind her and it's going to take someone who can really inspire our demographic to come out and show up and speak up for themselves," Wilson said.
Letter to the editor: Health care pitch only helps the rich
The Post Star- Mar 14, 2017
We are witnessing the evisceration of our human right to affordable health care.
The new plan offers a $7 million annual tax cut to the 400 wealthiest households in America and significant tax breaks to insurance companies. However, 160 million households below $200,000 will not benefit at all.
Tax cuts mean 10 million to 20 million people will lose coverage immediately and almost certainly won't find new affordable coverage. It will be “accessible,” meaning they may qualify for coverage but won’t be able to afford premiums. Under the "continuing care" provision, anyone whose coverage lapses for more than 63 days will encounter a 30 percent increase in premiums when they try to come back. This will not go to the government to offset costs but directly to the insurance companies. No hardship exemptions exist.
The maximum “Obamacare” penalty for not having any coverage was $695/year. Under the new plan, after a lapse in coverage, if I wanted to buy an individual policy with a $7,500 premium, I’d have to pay an additional penalty of $2,200, directly to the insurance company’s bottom line. The plan offers state caps on Medicare funding, which means when the money runs out, my aging father is up the creek.
I’m a single mother of two, with two small businesses and no insurance. Luckily, my children's stepmother has a good insurance plan and is willing to cover my kids. But how am I supposed to help my dad? Will their stepmom still be able to afford her plan? How am I supposed to be able to afford cancer screenings and general checkups with the defunding of Planned Parenthood? How does any of this help us here in the North Country? Who is representing us?
Katie Wilson, Keene