News Politics: Democratic candidate Pat Ryan put out a video that would serve as his first television advertisement of the special election campaign to fill this upstate swing seat an hour after the US Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade. The narrator introduces the 40-year-old Iraq War veteran’s personal past before saying, “He fought for our families, for our freedom.” But as Ryan turns to face the camera, the commercial abruptly changes direction and tone. He continues, “And freedom includes a woman’s right to choose.” If the government seeks to control women’s bodies, how can we be a free nation? The vote to replace Antonio Delgado, a Democrat who lost his seat in November, took place here on Tuesday. As party leaders look for signs about what will happen in November,
Ryan has cast the contest as a referendum on abortion rights, an issue that has been climbing up voters’ list of concerns since the Supreme Court ruling on June 24. Abortion rights advocates’ success in defeating a Kansas ballot measure, which would have allowed lawmakers there to pursue a statewide ban, set off a flood of new donations to his campaign, which says it has now surpassed $2 million.
As leaders from both parties search for clues about what lies ahead in November, the vote here on Tuesday — to replace Antonio Delgado, a Democrat who left to become lieutenant governor — has emerged as a national barometer of the political energy unleashed by the high court’s decision to end the nationwide right to abortion. It’s a test of whether Democrats, even in a politically unpredictable congressional district like New York’s 19th, can translate the anger of their base, and concerns over the implications of the ruling that cut across party lines, into a potent midterm message.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s House campaign arm, recently invested in the race with a “six-figure” ad buy to back Ryan, who’s also been bolstered by more than $500,000 in spending by VoteVets, a Democratic group that supports veteran candidates.