ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — On Oct. 27, Tracy Mitrano visited the Chemung County Board of Elections just hours before her debate with Congressman Tom Reed.

Mitrano said her visit was to encourage early voting and encourage residents to come out and vote. She said her visit to Elmira is because the city has been suffering for decades.

“Mr. Reed has been in office for 10 years and he hasn’t helped this place,” Mitrano said.

Mitrano said she is ready to go up against Congressman Reed during the 23rd District Congressional Debate. In an interview, Mitrano told 18 News she has been running for congress for the past three years, but has done so intentionally.

“When I jumped into the race, I said it would take two times to get Mr. Reed out,” Mitrao said. “I want the opportunity for people to get to know me for who I am and what I believe. Mr. Reed’s political advertising does not help heal this country. It plays on feelings of anger, resentment and fear. That’s not who I am.”

Mitrano also touched on the rise in COVID-19 cases in the city and discussed how important early voting is during the pandemic.

“We just need to be sensible about masks and hand washing, especially in an in closed space,” Mitrano said. “We have to be careful for our children. We need to make sure people make that plan for voting because I know in Elmira, you’re having a cluster effect here and we need to make sure people are feeling safe.”

Congressman Tom Reed voted for the first CARES Act package and Mitrano said a large part of those funds did not go where they needed to go.

“It went to commercial banks, special interests and large corporations,” Mitrano said. “It did not go where we needed it the most. Hopsitals and the people affected by it, our municipalities. Mr. Reed has alleged that I want to defund the police, he’s the only one who voted to defund police because he didn’t vote for the HEROES Act. The HEROES Act brings money to municipalities.”

Mitrano said she supports law enforcement and believes we can get to a better place. She also told 18 News, she believes Reed has failed the 23rd District.

“If you want the same 10 years you’ve had, don’t vote for me because I am for change and unity of this place,” Mitrano said.