NY-22 Republican Primary: The Showdown In Central New York

On August 23, 2022, the state of New York will hold primaries in congressional races and State Senate races, as well as two special elections in two vacant congressional districts. Accordingly, Albany Update is profiling key primary elections in various areas of the state. This week, Albany Update will profile the upcoming Republican primary in New York’s newly-drawn 22nd congressional district (NY-22). This Central New York district includes Madison, Oneida, and Onondaga Counties. To view a map of the district, please click here.

Due to redistricting, Rep. Claudia Tenney—the member of Congress for the current 22nd district—has opted to seek election in New York’s newly-drawn 24th congressional district this year. The Republican candidates for Congress in NY-22 are Steve Wells and Brandon Williams.

According to his campaign website, Wells is a Syracuse native who received his college degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and his law degree from Vanderbilt University. Wells served as an assistant criminal district attorney in Texas. He is a founding partner of the American Food and Vending Corporation. Wells has served as treasurer of the New York Republican Party and has held a variety of leadership roles in community organizations. His campaign website focuses on issues like national security, public safety, border security, Second Amendment rights, and job creation. Wells asserts that he supports the return to Mexico policy in regard to illegal immigrants who seek asylum; he opposes socialized medicine and woke ideologies. Wells has been endorsed by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY21). He resides in Cazenovia, New York.

Williams’s campaign website states that he is a Texas native who received his bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business. He has served in the United States Navy as a strategic missile officer. Williams moved to central New York in 2010. He is the founder of a software company and an agribusiness. Williams’s website states his support for a border wall, energy independence, Second Amendment rights, parental rights, and criminal justice. Williams opposes what he describes as “social engineering” in the U.S. military. He has received the endorsement of the Conservative Party of New York State. Williams resides in Sennett, New York, which is outside the district’s boundaries.

At a recent candidate forum, Wells and Williams differed somewhat on the issue of abortion. Wells asserted that abortion policies should be set at the state level, but did not state his own view on the topic. Williams indicated that he is pro-life. Also, when asked to identify the biggest threat to the United States, Wells said that China was the greatest threat; Williams, on the other hand, identified socialist ideology in politics and education as the greatest threat to the nation.

In November, the winner of the Republican primary in NY-22 will face the winner of a four-way Democratic primary in the district.