UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR) — A new democratic challenger has entered the race for Congress against incumbent Elise Stefanik for the NY-21st congressional district. Former U.S. speed skater Bridie Farrell announced via a video on Twitter Wednesday that she would be launching her campaign.
“I’m running because I know that the people of the 21st district of New York need someone that represents them,” Farrell explained to NEWS10 sister station WUTR. “Right now, we have someone that we elected, she got to [Washington], and she forgot about us. She did that, and I won’t. There’s a lot of issues that are important to us, and we need someone that’s going to fight for us, so that’s why I got into this race.”
Farrell said in the video that she is North Country born and raised and that she would like to unite the North Country rather than divide it. Farrell is best known for her time competing nationally in speed skating and for coming forward to talk about her sexual assault experience at the hands of an older speed skater who sexually abused her when she was 15. She founded the nonprofit America Loves Kids to advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse. She also lobbied for the passage of the Child Victims Act, which was signed into law in 2019.
“When I came forward, I realized that we needed to change the law in New York,” Farrell said. “It was working with Republicans and Democrats; it was working on both sides of the aisle. Listen, it’s a hard hard topic to talk about, but I knew it was right, so the experiences of pushing away my own corporate career and professional life putting that on pause to found a nonprofit where I knew it was the right thing to do as hard as it was, it’s that same principle that is bringing me here today.”
Farrell will face democratic candidate Matt Putorti, a lawyer from Whitehall who announced his bid in June, and Ezra Watson in a primary. If you wish to support Farrell’s campaign or find out more, you can go to her website at BridieforUS.com.