Patchogue resident Cait Corrigan, 24, who plans to run in CD2’s Republican primary against Rep. Andrew Garbarino, has strong views on a number of issues — but the word she kept coming back to in a recent conversation with The Point was "freedom."
"Right now, in the time we’re living in, our freedoms are being stripped away," Corrigan said. "My opponent joined with the Democrats in … the destruction of our freedoms."
Perhaps Corrigan’s signature issue is what she calls "medical freedom." She opposes COVID-19-related "lockdowns" and mask and vaccine mandates, noting a need for widespread religious exemptions on vaccination. But while Corrigan, who runs workshops to help people write their own religious exemptions, has become known in anti-vaccine circles, she said she’s not opposed to vaccination.
"I’m not anti-vaccine. I’m against mandates," Corrigan said repeatedly, noting that she has a religious exemption to vaccines. "There’s a variety of religious reasonings against vaccination. People from across a variety of faiths can explain their beliefs … I believe … in religious freedom. God made our bodies perfectly."
Corrigan’s Students Against Mandates website suggests that those seeking a religious exemption should outline their personal religious beliefs and experiences and, in particular, focus on how human blood is sacred, noting that "vaccination … is injected into one’s bloodstream," that vaccines contain blood, and that "vaccines alter our sacred human blood." (The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain blood products.)
Beyond the vaccine issue, Corrigan said she opposes gun control measures, including the background checks bill Garbarino supported. And she criticized Garbarino for his support of the federal infrastructure bill, which, she said, "created mass amnesty and socialism," although she didn’t specify which part of the bill she was concerned about.
"The infrastructure bill is supporting illegals through social programs … and is encouraging them to come to our country illegally," she said. "And the big concern is our national debt and the financial burden on American citizens."
Infrastructure, Corrigan said, should be supported at the local level — not with federal dollars.
Corrigan said she sees high gas prices as a significant district issue and emphasizes her desire for "energy independence," with a focus on "prioritizing our own American oil and natural gas industry." And she said she hopes to focus on small businesses and veterans’ needs.
How will the newcomer, who has never run for office, beat incumbent Garbarino? She says she plans to "reach out to the constituents in the second congressional district to learn more about the issues."