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NY-19 Decides: Erin Collier

Written By Timothy Knight on 6/18/18 | 6/18/18


"I'm an economist: I know what good economic policy looks like that benefits everyone and not just the elites..." - Erin Collier

NY-19 Decides: Erin Collier
By Timothy Knight

Born and raised in Cooperstown, NY-19 congressional candidate and agricultural economist Erin Collier told the Mountain Eagle in a recent phone conversation that due to her experience growing up poor on the family farm, "I know what it's like to go without."

Ms. Collier, who is a graduate of Cornell University and who worked in the Obama Administration as an ag economist, is one of seven Democratic candidates vying for the party's nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Congressman John Faso in this fall's general election.

Finding the Republican Party's approach to income inequality hard to watch, Ms. Collier stated she "felt very strongly about doing something about it."

In particular, the eighth generation native of Otsego County cited the GOP's lack of support for farmers in the recently failed Farm Bill to be troubling. "Thank goodness the farm bill did not pass," said the candidate.

"Ag has long been an important part of our district and it's really struggling right now," cautioned Ms. Collier before adding that, "If we don't do something about it right now, we're going to lose our ag sector."

Putting herself through college by waitressing, Ms. Collier has an unquestionable working class pedigree stemming back to her starting work at only 14 years old, which is why she believes "I understand the challenges we face everyday."

With her family having roots extending back to the seventeen hundreds in the area - one has to look no further than the community of Colliersville for the deepness of said roots - Ms. Collier believes that her connection to the district and her status as an economist makes her unique from the six other candidates running.

"We absolutely must have a progressive economist in Congress," said Ms. Collier. She would go on to add that she is the only candidate with federal policy experience.

Another unique feature of her candidacy is that not only is she the only woman running in a field of seven candidates, but that she launched her campaign only this March - months, if not a whole year after the other contenders - which she said speaks to the financially prohibitive nature of elections.

"If I had $500,000 of my money, I would have been in this race long ago," said Ms. Collier. Further commenting upon the difficulties of her campaign she said, "The harder I felt it was, the more determined I was to get into this race."

When asked what differentiates herself from Mr. Faso, Ms. Collier replied "everything" with a slight laugh. Touching on his opposition to Obamacare, his vote for the farm bill, his opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act, and the support for him from the National Rifle Association, there was little wiggle room to misinterpret her opposition to her potential opponent's positions.

"This is my home and I come from a working class background," said the candidate when asked why undecided voters should support her. "I care about people [and] I will do the right thing," she added before concluding, "I will always fight for District 19."

Democrats will choose their nominee on Tuesday, June 26th.

Editor's Note: This is the second on a series of interviews with the seven candidates vying for the NY-19 Democratic nomination. All seven interviews will appear in the Friday, June 22nd print edition of the Mountain Eagle.
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