Dylan Ratigan officially enters race for Rep. Stefanik’s seat

Former MSNBC, CNBC host joins field of 9 Democrats seeking post
Dylan Ratigan.
Dylan Ratigan.

Former MSNBC television host and analyst Dylan Ratigan on Wednesday officially announced he will seek the Democratic nomination to run against Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik in the North Country’s 21st Congressional District, joining an already-crowded field.

“At the end of the day, I am not running for the party, I am running for the district and an opportunity to have a discussion about leadership that is serious,” Ratigan said in an announcement in Saranac Lake, which is his hometown.

Buzz about a possibility candidacy has been growing since Ratigan publicly acknowledged last week that he was considering a run.

After years in New York City, Ratigan, 45, has lived in Lake Placid since 2012. He acknowledged, however, than until registering last week he had not voted — a point Republicans immediately seized on to challenge the most prominent person to date to seek to take on Stefanik, R-Willsboro, who will be seeking her third term.

“It’s only fitting that Dylan Ratigan would move from New York City and the first vote he casts will be for himself,” the National Republican Congressional Committee said in a statement. “He is a liberal talking head with no voting record, and now he’s running for Congress in a desperate grasp for relevance.”

In not having voted, Ratigan said he’s like many people. “The single largest voting block in America is people who don’t vote. Is it apathy? No, it’s disgust,” he said, going on to criticize the current political climate for lack of seriousness, and national tax policy as depriving communities of resources, leading to “fear and tribalism.”

“I don’t know what the answer is, but I know what the problem is — it’s that there’s no serious discussion going on,” he said.

Ratigan is entering a crowded Democratic field that already features nine people from across the sprawling North Country district, where Democrats hope that Stefanik — who is seeking her third two-year term — is vulnerable.

Other Democrats in the race include Don Boyajian, an Albany attorney who lives in Cambridge; Tedra Cobb of Canton, a St. Lawrence County legislator; Tanya Boone of Granville; Emily Martz of Saranac Lake; Katie Wilson of Keene; Patrick Nelson of Stillwater; Ronald Kim of Glens Falls; Greenwich Town Supervisor Sara Idelman; and Dr. David Mastrianni of Saratoga.

Martz issued a statement Tuesday welcoming Ratigan to the race, but challenging his credentials. “It’s the age of women, and it’s the age of the regular guy in rural America working hard to feed his family,” she said. “We’ve had enough of self-serving, wealthy individuals taking advantage of the North Country, peddling their wealth and notoriety to bolster their own agenda.”

Ratigan graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 1994. After college, he went into business journalism, and was an editor at Bloomberg news before moving to CNBS and later MSNBC, where his roles including appearing on “Fast Money,” and later hosting his own show, “The Dylan Ratigan Show.” In 2012 he published a book, “Greedy Bastards,” about the relationship between big business and government.

After leaving MSNBC, Ratigan has become involved with hydroponic farming. In 2012 he founded Helical Holdings, which markets a system that produces clean water, solar power, and hydroponic produce.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or@gazettesteve on Twitter.

Candidate forum Thursday

All the Democratic candidates, including Dylan Ratigan, are expected to attend a candidate forum being sponsored by the Fulton County Democratic Committee from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Johnstown-Gloversville Holiday Inn in Johnstown.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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