UPDATE 1:49 PM. Tracy Mitrano’s campaign issued the following statement to WNYNewsNow:
“As a seven-year blogger for a national higher education journal of record, I discussed numerous topics of public interest — including topics such as illegal drug use and trafficking that has had such a deleterious impact on the lives of many people. I felt that my perspective could add to an understanding of the breadth of the problem we now face as one of the most serious in our country today.
“One of my posts made reference to a time almost forty years ago in the late 1970s when as an undergraduate at the University of Rochester I experimented with cannabis and powder cocaine. The death of an acquaintance in a fatal car crash as a result of his drug use gave me insight into the personal and social perils of illegal drug use, and the severe adverse effects that the drug trade has had on individuals, families, and society in general in the United States.”
“In keeping with the criticism I made then, and continue to maintain, of illegal drug traffic, which engulfs young people and adults involved in opiates, compounded by the deaths of three family members and friends more recently from drug overdose, I believe in the federal legalization and regulation of cannabis, federal funding for addiction treatment centers, vigorous law enforcement to confront the illegal drug trade, governmental and private civil action against pharmaceutical companies that continue to push opioid drugs in the medical market.”
ALBANY – The National Republican Congressional Committee has called into question Tracy Mitrano’s judgement after Mitrano, running against incumbent Tom Reed for the 23rd Congressional seat, admitted she used cocaine while in college.
“Tracy Mitrano’s history of illegal drug abuse is troubling – but her proposal to bring heroin injection sites to the 23rd District is downright dangerous,” NRCC spokesperson Chris Martin said.
“These are clearly concerning revelations” Abbey Daugherty, Communications Director for Tom Reed for Congress, said in a released statement.
Mitrano issued a statement admitting to the use of cocaine, after she was interviewed on Capital Tonight. The statement was released in response to a Capital Tonight query.
“I smoked marijuana for the first time,” she wrote. “I never liked it very much, but on occasion, just to be social, I would try it again from time to time. Powder cocaine was more my thing” Mitrano said. “In my junior year of college I used it sometimes to help me concentrate on my studies (most people today would have prescription Concerta) until my supplier, a fellow student who drove twice a week to New Hampshire for more and who got addicted to the point of snorting it in a dining hall plastic glass with a straw, drove head on into another car killing himself and everyone else involved.”
She said she admitted to the use of illegal drugs so people won’t think she is speaking “from a holier than thou platform.”
Mitrano also posted previously that “Let it be know that I am no prude. Because ‘everyone was doing it,’ I tried marijuana when I was 15. I snorted powered (sp.) cocaine in college,” Mitrano wrote. “I drink more than the daily recommended allotment for women of one ounce of alcohol a day. But I am also deeply sickened by watching generation after generation of young people lost to drug abuse.”
She appeared Monday on Capital Tonight to discuss her campaign, addressing a number of issues with Liz Benjamin, drugs not among them. However, Mitrano released a statement through her campaign Tuesday about her past.
“One of my posts made reference to a time almost forty years ago in the late 1970s when as an undergraduate at the University of Rochester I experimented with cannabis and powder cocaine. The death of an acquaintance in a fatal car crash as a result of his drug use gave me insight into the personal and social perils of illegal drug use, and the severe adverse effects that the drug trade has had on individuals, families, and society in general in the United States,” she said.
WNYNewsNow’s Ryan Hedrick, Matt Hummel and Rory Pollaro contributed to this report.