Republican Liz Joy will challenge Tonko again in 2022

Republican Liz Joy will challenge Tonko again in 2022


WASHINGTON — Republican Liz Joy will challenge U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, again in 2022, according to paperwork she filed with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday.

Joy ran an energetic campaign against Tonko in 2020, but received 38 percent of the vote to Tonko’s 62 percent. Her 2022 campaign is again expected to be an uphill fight in a district that has been a Democratic stronghold, although that could change if redistricting reshapes the race.

Reached by phone Friday, Joy declined to comment on her new campaign.

A Democrat named Cole Francis Matthews has also declared as a candidate in the race. Matthews could not immediately be reached for comment.

Joy, a Glenville resident, is a real estate estate who grew up in Glens Falls and married a member of the U.S. military medical corps, which resulted in their family living at several military bases over the years.

A pro-life conservative, Joy campaigned in 2020 as the law-and-order candidate. She supported President Donald Trump and his economic vision, while blasting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on issues including bail reform. She held many events in the district and raised about $381,000 for her campaign to Tonko’s $1.5 million.

Tonko, 71, has confirmed he will seek re-election in 2022. He’s serving his sixth term in Congress.


Joy’s re-match campaign is predicted to be a “long shot” in a blue bastion like the Capital Region, said Chris Mann, assistant professor of political science at Skidmore College. But she may make Tonko work harder than usual for his re-election because the 2022 midterms are expected to favor Republicans because it will be a mid-term election for a Democratic president.

It remains unclear how redistricting following the 2020 census could alter the 20th congressional district or other surrounding districts. New York is likely to lose a seat in Congress after redistricting.

“It could turn things off the margin and start to push Tonko to the place where he would have to run the kind of race with extensive TV ads and a big operation that we’ve seen recently from [Rep. Antonio] Delgado or [Tedra] Cobb on the Democratic side to the south and north of him,” said Mann. “It could push him into that territory. … I don’t think he’s in any real danger of losing but he’s going to have to work harder.”

The U.S. Census has hit delays in distributing population information to states so redistricting is not expected to be completed until later this year or early next year.



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