Two drop out of race for 21st District

The large pool of NY-21 Democratic Congressional candidates just got smaller. Challengers Tanya Boone, Granville, and Sara Idleman, Greenwich, ended their campaigns on Thursday.

Boone announced she would be dropping out in a press release on Thursday afternoon.

Idleman dropped out on Thursday during a candidate “Meet and Greet” hosted by the Fulton County Democratic Committee at the Holiday Inn in Johnstown.

“I have been giving it a lot of hard thought. With the new candidate running, we have sold out to money before and we are doing that again,” Idleman said in a phone interview, referring to Democrat Dylan Ratigan who declared his candidacy this week. “I’ve seen this movie before, and the person chosen is the person with the biggest pocketbook.”

Idelman said she is putting her support behind Democrat Tedra Cobb of Canton.

“I would rather get out of the race to give me the freedom to work hard,” she said. “I’m more committed to get the right person.”

Cobb, who won 35 percent of the vote in a straw poll after the “Meet and Greet,” said in an interview she was honored to receive Idleman’s support.

“I welcome Sara and everyone on her team, and I am excited to work with her,” she said.

Boone, too, ended her race to clear the path for others.

“There are so many people in the race,” Boone said in a Thursday afternoon interview. “It is difficult to build momentum, and we need a strong message.”

Until Thursday there were 10 Democratic candidates seeking to unseat Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro — but within the span of a few hours, the number dropped to eight.

Boone said she jumped into the race to represent her hometown and other towns similar to Granville.

“As a daughter of Granville, I have seen the economic and social devastation caused when rural communities are left behind,” Boone said. “Over my adult life, I experienced how the deck is stacked against hard-working families in our communities and how the rules of the economy have shifted to favor the very wealthy at the expense of our working class.”

By dropping out of the race, she said, she will help others move forward.

“I think it is the right thing to do, to let others begin to build momentum and take on Elise Stefanik,” Boone said.

After sitting down and chatting with the other Democratic challengers on Thursday, Boone said she will support a candidate who shares her values and commitment to help rural communities.

“I will be selecting someone soon,” she said.

Idleman has been involved in NY-21 politics for nearly a decade, and she said since 2014, there has been a pattern in NY-21 of supporting the money.

“I think we need someone invested in the district who is willing to step up and do the work,” she said.

And even though Ratigan is from the North Country, Idleman said, “This is a TV personality — of course he will present differently.”

“Another thing that is troubling is he has never voted,” she said, adding that Ratigan said there was never a candidate he could support. “He’s 45; he’s had about 50 elections. There wasn’t a mayor, someone? There was nobody?”

Idleman continued.

“What’s that all about? Democrats get people out to vote, we support voting, and it’s frustrating,” she said.

Boone said the level of community action and support is incredible.

“I am inspired by how many people are active and supportive,” Boone said. “It is incredibly inspiring. And I am grateful to supporters.”

Boone is committed to staying in Granville and spending more time with her husband and son, parents and brothers. During a January candidates forum, Boone talked about how her grandfather, Daniel Boone (and yes, she said, they are descendants of the American pioneer Daniel Boone), who worked at Comstock prison, could support a family of nine children on one income, comparing that to family struggles today.

But now that her run has ended, she said she will get some rest and continue renovating her great-great grandfather’s house.

Idleman said she will work behind the scenes. “I will work hard to call out some of the behaviors,” she said.

(Editor’s note: Four daily newspapers in the North Country — the Enterprise, Post-Star of Glens Falls, Watertown Daily Times and Press-Republican of Plattsburgh — are sharing content to better cover New York’s 21st Congressional District.)