Canton candidate for Congress Tedra Cobb calls on Rep. Stefanik to give back Johnson & Johnson money
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 1:53 pm

CANTON — Democratic candidate for Congress Tedra Cobb is calling on Republican Elise Stefanik, representative to Congress from the North Country’s 21st Congressional District, to return campaign contributions she has received from drug companies embroiled in the opioid crisis.

Last month, an Oklahoma judge ruled that Johnson & Johnson, an opioid maker, and contributor to North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, recklessly marketed opioids to healthcare professionals and ordered them to pay $572 million.

Stefanik has taken $45,500 from opioid manufacturers and distributors and has repeatedly voted their way, Cobb charged.

Strefanik “voted against combating opioid addiction. And she has voted dozens of times to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including substance abuse disorders,” the statement from Cobb’s office said.

Cobb is calling on Rep. Stefanik to immediately return campaign funds from any company under investigation in the opioid crisis, including Johnson & Johnson.

“Families in Northern New York are struggling to combat addiction and are desperate for help,” said Cobb. “We have some of the highest opioid death rates per capita in New York State and instead of finding ways to help these families, Elise Stefanik continues to side with drug manufacturers and their profits. She relies on them to fund her re-election bids at the expense of our families. Today, I am asking Stefanik to explain her votes against people who suffer from opioid addiction and to return any and all campaign contributions from those who profit from the opioid crisis.”

“This is exactly why I am not accepting corporate PAC money,” added Cobb. “My vote will never be for sale.”

Cobb is a resident of Canton, a small business owner, and served two terms on the St. Lawrence County Legislature.

She ran against Stefanik in 2018 after prevailing over several other Democratic challengers, but lost to Stefanik in the November election.