By Barrett Seaman
It’s unusual when a primary candidate in a congressional district well outside the Washington beltway gets a chance to announce her entry into a crowded field on a national news show. Yet Dr. Evelyn Farkas of Chappaqua had just that opportunity on November 18th while speaking to MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough on the Morning Joe show.
Dr. Farkas had an in, however: she has served as an MSNBC contributor on national security issues for Morning Joe, based on her previous role as a deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration and as an aide to the Senate Armed Services and House Foreign Affairs committees.
The daughter of immigrants who fled communist Hungary, she grew up in Chappaqua and attended Horace Greeley High School before studying international affairs at Franklin & Marshall College and Tufts’ Fletcher School of Diplomacy, where she earned a PhD.
An expert on Russian and Eastern Europe, Farkas, 51, says she got her start in politics on Morning Joe when she publicly warned about Russian interference in the 2016 election, earning the wrath of Fox commentator Sean Hannity.
“I know that I can govern from day one because actually I’ve already legislated for over a decade back in Washington,” she said on the November 18 edition of the show. “And I can help protect American democracy, do all the things that I know how to do—protect against terrorism, protect against Kim Jung Un and bring results home to the people of my district.”
With her strong foreign affairs credentials, anti-Trump record and television exposure, Dr. Farkas has a media advantage over the other four candidates that have so far thrown their hat into the ring for Lowey’s seat. It remains to be seen, however, whether her positions on domestic issues, like health care, climate and gun control, will resonate with 17th District voters.