WHITEHALL – A Washington County Democrat Monday announced his bid Monday to unseat U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik.
Matt Putorti, an attorney and Whitehall resident, announced his bid via a video posted to Twitter.
“My name is Matt Putorti. Today, I’m announcing my candidacy for Congress in #NY21,” he wrote in the tweet with the video. “The North Country taught me the meaning of service, community, empathy, and patriotism.
He then pivoted toward the Congresswoman he wants to defeat.
“Elise Stefanik threatens these values and our democracy. I’m going to give this race everything I’ve got,” he wrote.
My name is Matt Putorti. Today, I’m announcing my candidacy for Congress in #NY21. The North Country taught me the meaning of service, community, empathy, and patriotism. Elise Stefanik threatens these values and our democracy. I’m going to give this race everything I’ve got. pic.twitter.com/AjJh5G8Luy
— Matt Putorti (@MattPutorti) June 14, 2021
The campaign then soon got into an early back and forth as Stefanik issued her response where she highlighted another declared candidate Ezra Watson, calling Putorti “the second radical Far-Left Socialist Democrat” to announce.
She also highlighted her own efforts and campaign, noting she was “just re-elected by the highest number of votes in the history of any North Country congressional candidate.”
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) June 14, 2021
Stefanik was also elected to the No. 3 GOP slot in the House as Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney from the role.
The Democrat who lost to Stefanik in the last two elections, Tedra Cobb, herself highlighted Putorti.
Many of you have asked me who will be taking up the mantle to run against Elise Stefanik.
Let me introduce you to @MattPutorti.
The North Country deserves a representative who is willing to put our needs over political party and personal advancement.
— Tedra Cobb (@TedraCobb) June 14, 2021
“Let me introduce you to @Matt Putorti,” Cobb wrote. “The North Country deserves a representative who is willing to put our needs over political party and personal advancement.”
Cobb lost to Stefanik 59 to 41 percent in the 2020 election.
In his campaign video, Putorti described Whitehall as a “spaghetti dinner town” where neighbors help neighbors. He then called Stefanik a threat to those towns.
He also highlighted the Whitehall grocery store his great grandmother started and that his parents now own. He also identified himself as gay.
“The community in Whitehall is the foundation of who I am. I think it informs a lot of my desire to run for Congress,” Putorti said. “I do think that being gay gives a different perspective in leadership that is important so that we can understand each other better.”