Josh Riley, NY-19


Democracy for America
New York Working Families Party
Defend the Vote
North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters
Tompkins County Progressives
Chenango County Democratic Committee
Cortland County Democratic Committee

Josh Riley’s hometown of Ithaca recently shifted from NY-22 to NY-19 because of redistricting. But Riley didn’t miss a beat. He is now the leading Democratic candidate for his new district.

The 19th district may be newly drawn, but Riley is not new to the communities in it. The district includes Broome County, where Riley was born and raised, and Tompkins County, where he now lives with his wife, Monica, and their two-year-old son.

Riley’s leading opponent is Marcus Molinaro, a former member of the New York State Assembly who is running as a Conservative. In 2018, Molinaro ran against Andrew Cuomo and lost.


Riley sees safe access to abortion a Constitutional right and has vowed to fight to maintain that access. In his campaign website, Riley says, “Women’s healthcare decisions are women’s healthcare decisions, not the government’s.”

Molinaro opposed New York’s Reproductive Health Act, which codified Roe v. Wade into New York State law. Molinaro rejected allowing Medicaid funds to be used for abortions, transferred funds from his state campaign account to an anti-choice organization, and claimed that “only poor people” got abortions without doctors.

Riley supports instituting universal background checks, banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, preventing straw purchases, closing gun-show loopholes, and enacting red flag laws and no-buy lists for domestic abusers and suspected terrorists.

Molinaro says gun laws have failed. His solution is to create a community of inclusion to attack the root of the problem.

In its endorsement, Democracy for America said, “We know that in Congress, Josh Riley will be a champion for equal rights and working families, taking on corrupt corporations, fighting to put people over politics and making bold investments that will not only save our planet, but create good-paying union jobs in the process.”


Riley has a working-class beginning. The four generations of his family worked in factories, making boots at the Endicott-Johnson She Company in his hometown of Endicott, NY.

He worked to finance his college education and graduated with high honors from the College of William & Mary and Harvard Law School, where he received the Dean’s Award for Community Leadership in recognition of Josh’s history in public service.

He was a staff assistant in Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s office and had a fellowship on U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy’s Labor & Pensions Committee staff.

Riley is refusing corporate PAC money and instead relying on individual supporters.