Child Victims Act lawyer former national speed skater Bridie Farrell challenges Elise Stefanik


Bridie Farrell, a child abuse survivor, activist and former national speed skater, on Wednesday announced her campaign to challenge Rep. Elise Stefanik in the state’s 21st Congressional District.

“From ice cream in Lake Placid and trails in the High Peaks to my crowded family kitchen table in Saratoga, my values ​​and my drive to compete and succeed were born in the north of the country,” Farrell said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Growing up in Saratoga Springs, Farrell was a nationally ranked speed skater at the age of 13. She competed in four different Olympic events and traveled the world with the national speed skating team.

When she was 15, Farrell was sexually assaulted by a 33-year-old mentor and teammate. Later in her life, she spoke about child abuse and became a leading advocate for New York’s Child Victims Act, which became law in 2019 and enabled victims of child abuse to present allegations that sometimes date back decades. She advocated for similar laws in New Jersey and Arizona, which were also eventually passed.

“I am a survivor,” she said in a campaign announcement video. “And this concerns us all. We are survivors. We are fighters. We are dreamers.

Farrell joins Whitehall lawyer Matt Putorti in the Democratic primary. Wednesday’s Stefanik campaign wasted no time in dismissing Farrell’s candidacy as the “third far-left candidate” in the race, “all of whom support Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Andrew Cuomo and their racial policies and socialists who harm families in the north of the country “.

The Stefanik campaign also sought to portray the challengers as baggage handlers who only recently registered to vote in the district.

“Our campaign welcomes these radical candidates in the race and in the North of the country! Campaign Stefanik wrote in a statement Wednesday.

Farrell now lives in North River in the Adirondacks; she founded a nonprofit, America Loves Kids, to support victims of abuse and advocate with decision makers.

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