ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- On Saturday at the Gate House Cafe, Rachel Barnhart officially became the fourth Democrat vying for the 25th congressional seat which was held by Louise Slaughter since 1987.
"The best thing that I can do is show that I'm the best person to carry on her legacy, not tell you, and that's what I plan to do," said Barnhart.
Barnhart says that Slaughter was an advocate in Congress, and that the district needs the advocacy to continue.
"All over the country women are running for Congress, who have never held elected office before. But we have experience, we have the right experience, we have life experience," said Barnhart.
Barnhart says her life experience working as a journalist is what makes her an optimal candidate.
"I've had an entire career standing up for truth, fighting corruption, fighting for ethical government and that is what we need at this moment in time in our country," said Barnhart.
She joins Adam McFadden, Robin Wilt, and Joe Morelle in the primary race. She says it would be a mistake to assume that Morelle, the state Assembly Majority Leader, is the front runner at this stage.
"Night after night I'm talking to voters who tell me that they're very uncomfortable with the idea of sending Albany to Washington," said Barnhart.
She says she's looking for good faith bipartisanship in Congress, but adds that Democrats need to stick together when it comes to fighting for their beliefs.
"Now we're at a moment in time where the Republicans are threatening many of our values when it comes to immigration, when it comes to LGBTQ rights, when it comes to crime and gun reform," said Barnhart.
She also addressed the lawsuit filed against Governor Cuomo by seven Monroe County voters who say they are being denied their right to vote. They're pushing for a special election to be held before the general election, but Barnhart says a special election would disenfranchise Democratic voters.
"They know that this is the only way that they can win. To have the election on a day where there will be low voter turn out. This doesn't make any sense," said Barnhart, who previously made runs for Rochester mayor and the state assembly.
"I don't believe in giving up, I believe in serving this community," said Barnahrt, adding that her values haven't changed since those campaigns.
"The need for high tech infrastructure, the need for jobs, the need for a strong public education system, the need to get money out of politics and the need to fight for ethical government, that doesn't change," said Barnhart.
The Democratic primary is scheduled to take place on June 26th. The winner will face Republican candidate and local neurosurgeon Dr. Jim Maxwell in the general election.