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VoteVets backs Francis Conole in CNY race for Congress

VoteVets backs Francis Conole in CNY race for Congress

Candidate Forum 4.JPG

Democratic congressional candidate Francis Conole answers a question during the Auburn/Cayuga NAACP and Indivisible Cayuga candidates forum on Aug. 19, 2019 at Auburn High School.

VoteVets, a national progressive veterans group, is supporting Francis Conole in the 24th Congressional District race. 

The organization's political action committee announced its endorsement Thursday. Conole, D-Syracuse, is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko. 

"Right now, especially as we are facing one of the greatest challenges in our country in recent history, we need proven leaders like Francis in Washington who know how to overcome tough circumstances and deliver results that always put people first," said Jon Soltz, chairman of VoteVets PAC. "That's why we are proud to endorse Francis Conole for Congress."

Conole is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Iraq War veteran. He deployed with Army Special Forces to Iraq where he worked with Iraqi forces and planned for the withdrawal of U.S. Special Forces. 

Later in his career, he served as a policy adviser to two defense secretaries, Ash Carter and Jim Mattis, at the Pentagon.

He returned to central New York in 2019. In April, he launched his campaign for Congress. 

Conole said he's honored to earn VoteVets' support. 

"The global pandemic and national crisis our country is facing prove we need real leadership in Washington that can deliver results that protect the American people," Conole said. "Like so many of my fellow Democratic servicemembers in Congress, I've dedicated my life to serving, protecting and defending our country under the most challenging circumstances."

Conole and Dana Balter are vying for the Democratic nomination in the 24th district, which includes the western part of Oswego County and all of Cayuga, Onondaga and Wayne counties. The congressional primary is Tuesday, June 23. 

The winner will face Katko, R-Camillus, in the November general election. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.


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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at

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