New York State

5 things to know about Gillibrand’s challenger Chele Chiavacci Farley

The Republican NYC finance chairwoman is a first-time candidate.

Chele Chiavacci Farley, right, with her husband Steve Farley on left

Chele Chiavacci Farley, right, with her husband Steve Farley on left Shutterstock

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has long been a champion of women seeking public office, has successfully inspired one to run – against her.

Republican Chele Chiavacci Farley declared her candidacy for Gillibrand’s seat on Feb. 1, after months of deliberation. Farley’s name may be unfamiliar to most New Yorkers not acquainted with New York City Republican fundraising circles, so here are five things to know about the woman vying to become the next junior senator from New York:

Her name is pronounced “Shell”

Phonetically, it’s “Shell Kee-a-VAH-chee FAR-lee.” She also was college roommates with Gretchen Carlson, and her 2016 wedding to Rich Farley, a lawyer and financier – and also a Democrat – was covered in Town & Country.

She has financial experience

Last year, Farley was named finance chair for New York City by the state Republican Party, and according to her website, her experience managing finances goes back decades. She worked at UBS Capital and Goldman Sachs after graduating from Stanford University with two engineering degrees, and is now a partner and managing director of Mistral Capital International. In her campaign launch video, Farley highlights her private sector experience, and emphasizes New York’s financial problems.

 

Her platform may not be in sync with national Republicans

Farley seems cognizant that she is running on the GOP line in a blue state. As such, she appears to be toeing a relatively moderate line. Some of the policy points she raises in her campaign launch video, such as criticizing the Republican tax plan recently passed in Congress, echo New York Democrats. Farley calls Gillibrand “ineffective” for not doing more to stop that tax legislation, despite the fact that the legislation was written and championed by Republicans. No Democrat, including Gillibrand, voted for the bill. She also mimicked a favored talking point of Gov. Andrew Cuomo the late former Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, noting how the state gives more to the federal government than it receives in taxes. She blamed Gillibrand for not doing more to recoup this money, and said that she would work to return these funds to rebuild New York’s infrastructure and augment its education spending – not exactly national Republican talking points.

However, despite her wealth, she does seem to be using President Donald Trump’s playbook for highlighting her outsider credentials by supporting term limits, for example.

She is capitalizing on Gillibrand’s national profile

Gillibrand is considered to be a potential presidential candidate in 2020, and she has been carving out a place for herself in the Senate as an antagonist of Trump and a champion of the #MeToo movement and other progressive causes. Farley goes after that head-on, complaining, “Too many politicians care more about making headlines, and hashtags, than making a difference for the families they’re supposed to represent. And one of the worst offenders is U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.” She suggests that the senator is more concerned with raising her profile than representing the people of New York, saying that Gillibrand has “abandoned her moderate roots and has moved as far left as possible to advance her own national political ambitions.” Farley repeated this sentiment in an interview with John Catsimatidis on “Cat’s Roundtable” on Sunday, saying that Gillibrand’s evolution on gun control was purely self-interested. “When she was in the House, she was known as ‘Annie Oakley.’ And now in the Senate people laugh and they call her ‘Jane Fonda.’ That’s quite a change to the left,” Farley said. It’s not clear which “people” Farley was quoting: there is no readily available evidence that anyone has ever called Gillibrand Jane Fonda besides Farley herself.

She faces an uphill battle

No Republican has been elected to represent New York in the Senate since 1992, when Sen. Al D’Amato won the last of his three terms, before being defeated by Charles Schumer in 1998. Trump is deeply unpopular in New York, and Gillibrand has relatively high favorability ratings. A January poll by Siena College found that her favorability rating was 51 percent, and 50 percent of New Yorkers said they would vote to reelect her. Gillibrand also won over 70 percent of the vote in 2012, when she defeated Republican Wendy Long. She currently has over $8 million in cash on hand. However, Farley has the connections and experience to raise cash competitively: On Monday, she tweeted that she raised $100,000 on her first day of fundraising.

NEXT STORY: Who's up and who's down

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.