Beth Parlato joins growing field of republican candidates for NY-27

LISTEN: Fox News contributor and Williamsville attorney talks running for Congress

Mike Baggerman
August 01, 2019 - 3:00 am

Beth Parlato, candidate for NY-27. July 31, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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DARIEN, N.Y. (WBEN) - The newest republican candidate in the race for NY-27 hopes her conservative activism will resonate with voters in the district.

Beth Parlato, a Williamsville-based attorney who resides in Darien, officially announced her candidacy this week as the field continues to grow in the race for Congress. Parlato officially joins State Senator Chris Jacobs as the only two republican candidates who have officially announced a congressional run. Incumbent Congressman Chris Collins, who is under a federal indictment on insider trading and for lying to the FBI, did not formally announce a run but put $500,000 of his own money into his campaign because he wanted to be prepared.

In a sit-down interview with WBEN, Parlato said she entered the congressional race for fundraising reasons and because she believes Congressman Collins' charges are a distraction and that it's time for a new voice in the district. She said she supported the work that Collins has done over the years.

Parlato has an uphill climb in order to gain name recognition in the race. A former judge for 12 years in in Darien, Parlato currently works in matrimonial and family law.

"I'm concerned about the direction of our nation," she said in a sit-down interview with WBEN. "That's the reason why I've jumped into this race. It's not anything that I've ever dreamt about...When this happened, and I believe we will be having an open primary, I had a lot of people approach me. I've really given it a lot of consideration, a lot of thought, prayer, and talking to people. Not only here in NY-27 that would be supporting me but also in D.C...to see who I have that's going to be behind my candidacy."

One thing that may appeal to many voters in the district is her various appearances over the past few years on Fox News as a contributor, discussing security, family issues, immigration, and social issues. She said part of the reason why Fox News was interested in her in the spring of 2016 was because she is a female conservative. Parlato plans to use the fact that she is the only woman running in the race to her advantage.

"(Women) are very underrepresented in Congress," she said. "We have 435 congressmen and there are 13 republican women. That's an extreme under-representation. Especially when the majority of women in Congress...are democrat. They do not speak for all women. They do not speak for me at all."

There are 89 congresswomen in the House of Representatives that are democrats.

She described herself as an "unapologetic" supporter of President Trump and said she is concerned that the United States is on the verge of socialism.

"Socialism is knocking on the door and that concerns me," she said.

Fundraising may present the biggest challenge for Parlato. She lags behind Jacobs, who has nearly $750,000 in his campaign and Collins, who recently contributed $500,000 into his campaign. The latest campaign disclosure form shows her with no money at all. She said that because she launched her campaign this week, her numbers won't be reported until the end of September.

"I'm not a self-funder," she said. "I have a daughter who is a senior in college and a son, my youngest, who is starting college at Liberty University in two weeks. I work to pay my bills like most of our listeners that are listening to this. I'm not a self-funder like Chris Jacobs or Chris Collins. Chris Jacobs did raise about $420,000 and wrote a check for the rest. So I'm looking at what he raised and what donors gave him. That's my goal."

She said she believes she will meet those fundraising goals.

Congressman Collins described Parlato as "very conservative" during his press conference on Tuesday.

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