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 Democratic candidate for his new district.
Riley is running for Congress to deliver results for Upstate New York neighborhoods like the one where he grew up. He is offering a bold and optimistic vision for the region’s future because he is proud of its past: whenever the world has faced big challenges, Upstate New York has risen to meet them, and Josh knows we can do it again.
Riley’s opponent will be Marc Molinaro, a former member of the New York State Assembly who just lost the special election in this district to Democrat Pat Ryan. Guess Molinaro likes losing. In 2018, Molinaro ran against Andrew Cuomo and lost.
Josh Riley was born and raised in a working-class neighborhood in Endicott, New York. The four generations that came before him worked in local factories, making shoes and boots at the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company and circuit boards in the IBM factories.
With student loans, savings from his newspaper route, and part-time work, Riley 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 his public service.
After college, Riley served as a policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor where he focused on strengthening unemployment insurance and trade adjustment assistance programs. After graduating from law school, Riley moved to South Florida to work with the American Academy of Pediatrics on a landmark civil rights lawsuit representing kids from low-income families who were having difficulty accessing healthcare services. As an attorney in private legal practice, Riley filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing for stronger campaign finance laws and better healthcare for all.
Riley is no stranger to Congress. He was a staff assistant in Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s office, had a fellowship on Ted Kennedy’s Labor & Pensions Committee staff, and served as General Counsel to Al Franken.
Riley sees safe access to abortion as a Constitutional right and has vowed to fight to maintain that access. Riley says, “Women’s healthcare decisions are women’s healthcare decisions, not the government’s.”
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.
Riley believes that we are facing existential threats to our environment that require bold action including getting to zero net greenhouse emissions as soon as possible. He also believes that the kind of work we need to do as a planet will create a large number of good paying jobs in the U.S.