ITHACA, N.Y. — Political campaigns across the region have announced their intentions to cancel or otherwise move events online as state and local health officials urge people to avoid large gatherings to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19.
City of Ithaca Alderperson and candidate for New York State Assembly District 125 announced on Thursday afternoon that he was immediately canceling all in-person campaign events for the next two weeks.
“It has become clear that social distancing and curtailing public events are necessary steps to contain the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Murtagh his statement. “While Tompkins and Cortland Counties are not currently reporting any cases, nor are they classified as high risk, it is with an abundance of caution that our campaign will not be hosting any in-person events for the next two weeks.”
Murtagh says he will continue to collect petition signatures, which are due back to the Board of Election by April 2, and reach out to people individually and online before re-assessing the situation in two weeks.
Another of the many challengers participating in the Democratic Primary for New York State Assembly District 125, Tompkins County Legislator Anna Kelles, says that a scheduled press conference on Friday, where she will accept the nomination of local building trades group, will go on as scheduled due to the small numbers anticipated, but will be moving future events online.
At the state Senate level, Leslie Danks Burke — a challenger to incumbent state Senator Tom O’Mara — has announced a fundraised scheduled in Ithaca Thursday to raise rent money for her Watkins Glen campaign office set for Thursday evening has been moved online.
“We’re going digital! In keeping with health recommendations, we’re moving tonight’s “Pay the Rent” fundraiser online,” Danks Burke’s campaign said in an email to supporters. “Instead of coming to the party in person, please join us from 6 to 7:30 p.m. tonight.”
Meanwhile, in the race for New York’s 23rd Congressional District, Democratic-hopeful Tracy Mitrano has announced the cancelation of the final 2 stops of her 5-day tour of the district, opting instead to host online events on Thursday and Friday, which were set to take place tonight in Elmira and Friday in Danby.
“Out of an abundance of caution with regards to the coronavirus, we are canceling tonight and tomorrow’s town halls and instead holding one online town hall tomorrow Friday, March 13, at 6 p.m.,” said Mitrano in a statement posted to Facebook on Thursday afternoon. “Supporters from across the district are invited to join us for an online town hall on the topic of ‘Fighting to Save the Middle Class.’”
The online town hall will be broadcast on Mitrano’s website, which can be found here.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the location of Leslie Danks Burke’s fundraiser. The fundraiser was scheduled in Ithaca but took place online.