Kim drops out of Congress race

Ron Kim, a Democrat running for Congress, speaks at a Citizens Acting Together for District 21 forum earlier this month. Kim plans to work with local leaders to build the North Country economy, get corporate money out of elections and pass progressive legislation that appeals to conservative voters. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

QUEENSBURY — The field of Democrats hoping to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik in November was narrowed further Sunday when former Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Ronald Kim announced he was withdrawing from the race.

In an email to the media and a message posted on his campaign website, Kim said he was dropping out of the race “reluctantly … because I believe my continued efforts will only assist the current incumbent.”

Kim was one of eight Democrats seeking the party’s backing to take on Stefanik, R-Willsboro, in the November general election. Two other candidates — Sara Idleman, who is town of Greenwich supervisor in Washington County, and Granville’s Tanya Boone, a former union organizer — withdrew from the contest late last month.

“It was a great pleasure and wonderful opportunity to campaign for the past six months for the Democratic nomination for NY 21,” Kim said in the email announcing his withdrawal. “I have been inspired by the patriotism and activism of the thousands of individuals throughout this beautiful district who I have had the privilege to meet and come to know. I am especially indebted to my supporters and volunteers who interrupted their busy lives to assist me financially and otherwise to carry my message of ‘Working to Unite America’ to residents of the North Country. To everyone, I am eternally grateful and humbled.”

Unlike Idleman — who threw her support behind Tedra Cobb, a former St. Lawrence County legislator and owner of a business development company, while criticizing the race’s newest entrant, former MSNBC commentator Dylan Ratigan — Kim urged his supporters to choose one of the seven remaining Democrats and offer their support.

“The good news is we have a slate of candidates vying for the nomination who are qualified and deserve your support, diligence and hard work,” Kim said. “To a person, each and every one of them would be a superior Congressperson for the North Country. If you have not already, please contact one of them to help.”

Idleman said Ratigan’s candidacy makes the race problematic as it would focus more attention on money and fame rather than issues affecting the North Country. Boone said she dropped out so Democrats could rally around a single candidate who could present the strongest challenge to Stefanik.

In addition to Cobb and Ratigan, the Democrats remaining in the race are Don Boyajian of Cambridge, Emily Martz of Saranac Lake, Patrick Nelson of Stillwater, Katie Wilson of Keene and David Mastrianni of Schroon Lake.

The most recent Federal Election Commission financial filings show Boyajian with the most money raised at $353,478; followed by Cobb of Canton with $217,546; Martz, $128,492; Wilson, $83,640; and Nelson, $36,084. Kim had trailed the Democrat field with $7,637 raised for his campaign. Ratigan and Mastrianni, the two most recent entrants into the contest, have reported no financial activity thus far.