Last Updated on August 24, 2022
Trump-aligned conservative congressional candidate Brandon Williams crushed his Stefanik-endorsed and McCarthy-funded opponent in yesterday’s NY-22 GOP Primary, besting Steve Wells, the hand-picked successor of a Trump impeachment voter, by a more than 15-point margin. Williams’ big win marks a breakaway from the influence of DC establishment figures like Reps. Elise Stefanik and Kevin McCarthy, who have used their senior positions within the GOP and the deep pocketbooks of their insider colleagues to influence GOP primary races around the country and present Democrats with weak general election opponents at odds with their own base.
Voters in the 22nd District rebuked the campaign of Steve Wells, a former registered Democrat who donated more than $30,000 to disgraced ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo, in favor of his grassroots competitor, Brandon Williams. The match-up was a classic battle of America First Conservatism vs. The GOP Establishment, with New York establishment Rep. Elise Stefanik and Kevin McCarthy’s Congressional Leadership Fund both throwing their support behind political insider Wells.
Though he has refused to commit to supporting President Trump in 2024, Stefanik, who has supported the left’s pro-trans ‘Equality Act,’ claimed to voters that Democrat donor Steve Wells “is a conservative Republican and an America First leader.”
In the closing week of the primary campaign alone, McCarthy’s CLF dropped more than $300,000 on a pro-Wells, anti-Williams ad blitz in a last-ditch futile effort to drag their man across the finish line.
With the help of the cash rich GOP establishment, Steve Wells had over $1 million dumped into his campaign, outspending Williams by a 6-1 margin, but to no avail.
He’d been positioned as the hand-picked successor of outgoing Rep. John Katko, who chose to retire rather than be eviscerated by his base at the polls after his 2021 vote with Democrats to impeach President Trump. After that vote, Wells issued a maximum donation to Katko’s political coffers, in what has been called a glaring example of the same pay to play politics he engaged in with Andrew Cuomo.
Employing a familiar establishment campaign strategy, one used by Democrats like John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, Steve Wells outright refused to debate Brandon Williams throughout the primary season and it would appear that some voters didn’t even know who Wells was, as he employed his own version of the “Hidin’ Biden” routine.
All the while, Williams was out in force at community events and celebrations, making himself well-known to the district’s voters and championing an America First message. He also made appearances on programs like Steve Bannon’s War Room.
At a victory celebration held in a local cafe, Williams announced that his primary race was “only the beginning of the change that’s coming to America,” telling supporters that “we’re going to get this ship pointed in the right direction.”
“Our nation is under attack by the radical left,” Williams, a retired Navy submarine officer, went on in saying.
Above all, in shaking the hands of thousands of voters across the 22nd District, Brandon Williams says that he saw first-hand the “desperate love for our country” felt and expressed by so many, which helped fuel him along the road to victory.
“I’m extremely humbled to have your faith,” Williams told his supporters at the victory celebration.
In the 2022 midterms, newly-minted GOP nominee Brandon Williams will face off against Democrat nominee Francis Conole, who narrowly won his party’s primary by a less than 1,000 vote margin.
In his own primary race victory speech, Canole parrotted Democrat Party talking points and, according to local reports, received his loudest cheers of the evening when he promised to defend abortion in Congress, calling his support for the state-sanctioned killing of unborn babies “common sense.”