Josh Riley (D) and Marc Molinaro (R) are running in the November 8, 2022, general election for New York’s 19th Congressional District. Incumbent Pat Ryan (D) is running for re-election in New York’s 18th Congressional District due to redistricting.
Riley is a private attorney and former congressional staffer. Riley highlighted his ties to the district and said he would work to encourage job growth in Upstate New York. Riley said, “We should be saying no to bad trade deals. We can invest in high-tech jobs that restore manufacturing and fight climate change. We can build an upstate economy that works for working families. That’s why I’m running for Congress.”
Molinaro was elected Dutchess County executive in 2011 and was the 2018 Republican nominee for governor of New York. Molinaro said, “As a County Executive, I’ve worked with both sides to cut taxes and spending, fully fund police and lend a hand to those with disabilities through our Think Differently initiative. I’m running for Congress because it’s time they think differently as well.”
Molinaro lost to Pat Ryan 51.1% to 48.8% in a special election on August 23, 2022, to fill the remainder of former Rep. Antonio Delgado’s (D) term. Delgado represented the 19th district from 2019 until May 25, 2022, when he resigned to become lieutenant governor.
The 19th district was redrawn after the 2020 census to encompass the cities of Ithaca and Binghampton. According to the Cook Political Report, the old district had a partisan lean of R+2, while the redrawn district has an even partisan lean.
In the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden (D) received 49.8% of the 19th district’s vote to former President Donald Trump’s (R) 48.3%. According to data from Daily Kos, Biden would have received 51.3% of the vote in the redrawn district, and Trump would have received 46.7%.
As of June 2022, 36% of the district’s active voters were registered Democrats, 32% were registered Republicans, and 31% were either registered with some other party or unaffiliated.
Both candidates have the organizational and financial support of their respective national parties. Riley is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program, a project that supports Democratic candidates in competitive congressional districts. Molinaro is part of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program, an initiative that supports Republican candidates running for Congress in open or Democratic-held House districts.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. As of September 30, 2022, Democrats hold a 220-212 advantage in the U.S. House with three vacancies.