WASHINGTON - Claudia Tenney may be down right now, but she’s certainly not out.
“We have a few weeks left and we really need to get our issues completed by now because it’s our last chance to get our issues done in this Congress and I’ll be sitting out the 116th, so it’s our last chance to get what we can in, so I’ve been working very hard, I’ve been in as much as possible to make sure that agenda gets carried through to the last minute of my term,” she told Spectrum News DC.
Rep. Tenney lost her Republican-held seat in NY-22 as part of the ‘blue wave’ that swept through the country, propelling the Democrats into the majority for the incoming 116th Congress. Looking back at the race, Tenney says there are some things she would have done differently.
"I would have urged the Republicans to spend more money on the logistical ground game that the Democrats have going, whether it’s legitimate or not, they were able to put ballots in the ballot box and get them counted and we need to do that as well,” she said.
Tenney lost a tight race to Democratic challenger Anthony Brindisi. The district was considered a vulnerable one this cycle by Democratic strategists who pumped money and influence into NY-22 race. Tenney had back up from President Trump, members of his Administration, and the first family, who all came to stump for her.
"I’m grateful to [The President] and to Ivanka Trump, his special advisor, his son Eric, Don Jr. came to our district, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, all of them, received well in our district,” said Tenney. “So we’re really grateful for that, and I think they were helpful and so much happened at the ballot box, I have 11 colleges in my district, non-resident students can vote in New York and I think that was a challenge.”
But despite the political setback, Tenney says she’s staying positive, focusing on the remaining work to be done in this Congress while Washington remains under complete Republican control.
"I fought very hard as a Freshman for bills that were made into law, five bills, that were specifically initiated by me, which is unprecedented in my community, so I don’t know if accomplishments matter so much in an election, but I’m proud of the things we got done.”
Tenney recently voted to approve the Farm Bill but says the legislation didn’t go far enough to help Upstate New York Dairy Farmers.
As for her political future, Tenney says she’s considering her options.
“I don’t know what I’ll eventually do, I have to think about it, haven’t ruled out possibly making another challenge in 2020, but those all remain to be seen, gotta look at the landscape and see what’s happening.”