Democratic congressional candidate Matt Castelli on Monday is running on an additional ballot line this November in his bid against Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik.
Castelli is running on a ballot line dubbed the Moderate Party after a successful petition drive.
“For too long the most extreme voices have dominated politics, the Moderate Party is reclaiming a powerful voice for the great middle majority,” Castelli said. “We want government to focus on what it's good at - security, roads and bridges, strengthening communities - and to stay out of our personal lives. In NY-21, we think for ourselves, coming together across party lines to solve problems - it's time our representative in Washington did, too.”
Candidates in New York are allowed to run on multiple ballot lines in the general election under what's known as fusion balloting. Castelli's push for the Moderate Party and his candidacy received the backing of Democratic former Rep. Bill Owens, Stefanik's predecessor.
"NY-21 has a long tradition of electing moderate leaders from both parties to represent our interests,” Ownes said. “We are practical people who believe that government should stick to the basics, like public safety and upholding the Constitution, and stay out of our personal lives. These are the values that helped get me elected to Congress three times, and these are the values that Matt Castelli shares. While the extremes have enough champions, Matt will be a champion for the great moderate majority who deserve a fighter."
Stefanik's campaign, meanwhile, blasted Castelli over the move.
“There is nothing moderate about Downstate Democrat Matt Castelli supporting raising taxes on hardworking North Country families during a recession," said Stefanik senior advisor Alex DeGrasse. "There is nothing moderate about Downstate Democrat Matt Castelli supporting an unconstitutional gun ban. There is nothing moderate about Downstate Democrat accepting the endorsement from Kathy Hochul and trying to hide it from voters."
Stefanik's campaign separately rolled out endorsements from 50 officials in Jefferson County, including two independents and three Democrats.
“I am extremely grateful to have once again earned strong support from local elected leaders in Jefferson County,” Stefanik said. “Jefferson County families know that I have a proven track record of delivering results for them in Congress, including our brave men and women serving at Fort Drum. As Fort Drum’s chief advocate, I will continue to be a voice for our service members and all of our families in Jefferson County at the highest levels of our federal government.”