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Trump-loyal NY Republican Claudia Tenney flubs 2020 re-match kickoff by releasing video too early

2019-10-01

Former upstate New York Rep. Claudia Tenney’s 2020 campaign is off to a bumbling start.

The ex-Republican congresswoman — who lost her seat in last year’s blue wave midterms — asked a small group of advisers over the weekend for feedback on a video announcing a 2020 bid for her old post, with plans to formally kick off her campaign Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the matter.

But, rather than sending an encrypted file, Tenney publicly posted the video on Vimeo and circulated a link to her allies, the source said.

The Daily News was able to review the premature 2020 announcement before it was abruptly taken down Monday afternoon.

In the rematch video, Tenney — who lost to Democrat Anthony Brindisi in 2018 despite the full-throated support of President Trump — touts her upstate New York roots and offers a heart-felt pre-politics anecdote about her struggles as a single mother and small business owner.

She traded on the upstate/downstate divide, pledging to fight for her constituents in New York’s 22nd district, not the people of Brooklyn.

The video was a far cry from Tenney’s usually combative style and she did not once tee off on Democrats.

She did not return a request for comment, and it was unclear Monday afternoon as to whether she was still planning to announce Tuesday.

Brindisi’s campaign did not return a request for comment either.

Tenney, 58, has a history of controversial remarks.

She stoked widespread outrage when she claimed in February 2018 that “so many” people who commit mass shootings “end up being Democrats." She has also echoed fringe right-wing conspiracy theories about a “deep state” within the federal government working to undermine Trump.

Trump endorsed Tenney in 2018 and several of his family members, including Eric Trump, stumped for her on the campaign trail.