CD#17 – The Candidates Running for “Nita’s Seat”

NYS Congressional District #17: In Westchester County: Cortlandt, parts of Greenburgh, Harrison, Mt. Kisco Village/Town, Mt. Pleasant, New Castle, North Castle, Ossining, Peekskill, Rye Town, parts of Scarsdale, White Plains, parts of Yorktown; plus Rockland County.

Eight (8) candidates are battling to win the Democratic Primary to succeed Congresswoman Lowey as the Party nominee in NYS CD #17. 

<> 2 of the 8 candidates are anti-choice.
<> The 6 other candidates in this Primary are Pro-Choice but have varying qualifications.
<> ProChoice Voter has not endorsed any candidate.

The 2 anti-choice candidates have a lot in common. They are both “transactional”, reinventing themselves and their records in order to advance their personal goals.

Anti-Choice Carlucci is a dangerous opportunist. As a founding member of the IDC*, starting on his first day in office and for the next 7+ years, he aligned himself with the NYS Senate Republican Caucus and successfully blocked crucial legislation that the Senate Democratic Caucus tried to pass, including the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act.

For more information, click here: ProChoiceVoter.orgReject the Candidacy of IDC Co-Founder for Congress – 2020 and Planned Parenthood tells the IDC where to get off!

The other anti-choice candidate is Catherine Parker. Despite claims to the contrary, she has demonstrated that she will vote for extremist anti-choice candidates over pro-choice leaders. Parker voted for Republican anti-choice fanatic Rob Astorino and against pro-choice Democrat Andy Spano. When she did so it was already well documented that Astorino** was endorsed by zealot anti-choice opposition groups including Right to Life PAC, and held extreme anti-reproductive health positions. In sharp contrast, then-County Executive Spano (Astorino’s opponent) was the force who mandated, for the first time in County history, birth control be covered by Westchester County Employee Health Insurance. For more information, go to: Newsletter and 2019 Voting Guide, Explanation/Opinion/Policy

These 6 candidates has been rated “pro-choice”. To enable you to make a more informed decision, we are providing information about individual candidates’ records. Only one has held elected office, so we have sought out additional information to shed some light.
DAVID BUCHWALD, elected to the NYS Assembly in 2012, has a proven track record supporting comprehensive reproductive rights, co-sponsoring a lengthy list of bills, including the Reproductive Health Act, Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, “Boss Bill” (prohibits employment discrimination based on an individual’s or a dependent’s reproductive health decisions), and Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act.
ALLISON FINE, who is an outspoken advocate for comprehensive reproductive freedom, served as Chair on the NARAL ProChoice America Board, during the Kavanaugh hearings, playing an important role in the fight. (NARAL Board Member 2015, Vice Chair 2016-2017, and Chair 2018-2019).
ADAM SCHLEIFER explains his commitment to protecting women’s reproductive rights and repealing the Hyde Amendment as personal. Members of his extended family are OB-GYN doctors who have provided abortion services over the years here in Westchester and across the country.
MONDAIRE JONES is a Medicare for All advocate who is committed to making comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion, an integral component of all healthcare legislation. He has promised on his website not to support any bill that does not include abortion coverage.
EVELYN FARKAS, a supporter of Roe v. Wade and opponent of the Hyde Amendment, supports both public and private healthcare options but does not provide any details on her website about committing to ensure that reproductive healthcare is covered – a problem that has grown dramatically under the Trump Administration.
ASHA CASTLEBERRY-HERNANDEZ is committed to protecting Roe v. Wade but provides no details.

Remember: Tuesday, June 23rd, is the NYS Primary.  In-person early voting begins on June 13th. Because of COVID-19, all registered NYS voters will receive an application for an Absentee Ballot in the mail for the Primary Election. In order to receive your ballot, you MUST return that application!

There will also be a Republican Primary in CD #17. Stay tune for more information.

ProChoice Voter Endorsement Policy
ProChoice Voter is a federal political action committee that makes its endorsements based on the candidate ratings made by the Board of Directors of WCLA – Choice Matters. ProChoice Voter’s endorsements are determined case by case. These ratings and endorsements have been made based upon interviews, actions and questionnaires, and are an evaluation of the candidates’ positions on a woman’s right to choose.To be considered for endorsement, candidates must complete and return the Organization’s questionnaire and participate in an interview if requested. Candidates who fail to return the questionnaire are rated anti-choice and have been fully informed of that consequence before making their decision. All endorsements are made on a strictly non-partisan basis. The questionnaires, incumbents’ and opponents’ records, leadership, and helpfulness during the legislative session are all reviewed. Consistency between candidates’ actions, interviews and questionnaire responses is important. Each race is voted separately. Incumbents may be endorsed over pro-choice challengers if they have consistent voting records and have established a reputation for strong leadership and extra effort in advancing access to abortion and contraception. Non-incumbents may be endorsed if they have demonstrated leadership on the issue.
Endorsement is considered only for those who unequivocally support:

  • Access to abortion and contraception for ALL women, unimpeded by laws, restrictions or regulations;
  • Strict confidentiality for all reproductive health care;
  • Coverage by public and private insurance of abortion and contraception.  

*The IDC: The IDC (so-called Independent Democratic Conference) was comprised of a group of NYS Democratic Senators who, from 2011-2018, aligned themselves with the anti-choice Republican Party, blocking progressive legislation from coming to the floor of the Senate. They deliberately turned the duly elected Majority Party, the Democratic Party, into the Minority Party and catapulted the Party of Trump, the Republican Party, into the majority.
**More about Astorino:  Astorino vetoed women’s safe access to reproductive health care legislation here in Westchester and cut comprehensive teen sex ed programs. Instead of keeping women safe and informed, he honored abstinence-only and fake pregnancy center advocates, using the County building to do so. Astorino’s attacks are not limited to reproductive rights; he waged a war on women as heads of families, financial providers and care givers. Statistically, women are a financial cornerstone of the family unit, balancing the funds that make their families succeed or fail – and Astorino went after every program that should have helped make ends meet. He cut all funding to: 1) neighborhood health centers, which provide Title X services; 2) food pantries; 3) afterschool programs; 4) child abuse prevention; and 5) mental health programs. He slashed funds to the eviction prevention foreclosure fund and the Invest in Kids and Youth Bureau. He limited access to County Government help in domestic violence situations. He outsourced Section 8 Housing to a Florida-based company with a recorded message – not much help when you need help. And when Astorino ran for governor, he declared that “everything [was] on the table” including cutting Medicaid funding of abortion.