CORNING | Tracy Mitrano, the 2018 Democratic nominee for the seat in Congress held by U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, held a campaign relaunch event Thursday at the Radisson Hotel Corning.

Mitrano, who was defeated by Reed 54-46 in November, never really left the race. She began raising money in January 2019, less than two months after her defeat, to fund her 2020 run.

She said there’s a reason this time will be different.

“We’re going to finish what we started,” she said at Thursday’s event. “We didn’t have enough time. We had a very contentious primary, and then we only had a few months to go against this machine of $3.5 million that Tom Reed has. What’s different this time is we have time to get to know me, and not the picture that was painted of me.”

She said her message hasn’t changed, or her key policy positions.

“We’re going to keep doing what we were doing in 2018,” she said. “Tom Reed has been in Congress 10 years and he has nothing to show for it. So we’re going to keep bringing our message to people, and we already feel the excitement and the opportunity of it.”

A year ahead of the June 23, 2020 primary, she’s already received endorsements from the Democratic committees of Steuben, Schuyler, Yates, Allegany and Chautauqua counties.

That’s key to her hopes of avoiding the primary fight she believes cost her time needed to get her message out in 2018.

“In 2017, I predicted that (even) if we had half as many people running -- there were 11 -- that we couldn’t really win against Tom Read; it would take two times,” she said. “And that’s when I promised I would run twice.”

Despite her efforts to lock up the race early, she’s recently drawn a challenger of her own.

Ithaca surgeon Scott Noren announced his own plans to seek the Democratic nomination earlier this week.