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Dana Balter

Democratic candidate for Congress Dana Balter, speaks during a forum in Auburn.

Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen

Dana Balter, the designated Democratic candidate who will likely challenge U.S. Rep. John Katko in the general election, received another endorsement Thursday. 

The Democratic Women of Cayuga County endorsed Balter, D-Syracuse, as she aims to unseat Katko, R-Camillus, in the 24th Congressional District race. 

The group cited Balter's focus on affordable health care, economic growth, environmental protections and public education. Balter has made those issues high priorities during her congressional bid. 

Barbara Post, who serves as treasurer of the Democratic Women of Cayuga County, said the group was also impressed with the campaign organization Balter has formed since entering the race in September. 

"She's a really dynamic speaker. She is amazingly quick on her feet," Post said. "She's got great answers, her platform is really strong and she has a great background in policy." 

Balter secured the Democratic designation in February. She was endorsed by the Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne Democratic committees at a joint meeting earlier in the month. Two weeks ago, she received the Onondaga County Democratic Committee's support. 

Post believes Balter is a strong Democratic challenger to take on Katko this year. 

"Dana's presence as a campaigner, I think, will be pretty forceful and I think Katko is going to have his work cut out for him," she said. 

The Democratic Women of Cayuga County will be active in the race. Post said they will work with other organizations in the area, including Indivisible Cayuga, to support Balter's campaign. 

So far, it's the only race of local significance that the group plans to focus on. There are five Republican state legislators who represent portions of Cayuga County, but as of Friday they do not have Democratic opponents. 

The 24th district is a target for Democrats in New York and Washington. They are hoping for a "blue wave" that will help them win several seats across the country and regain control of the House. 

"This will be our emphasis," Post said. "This will be what we're working on."