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Candidates compete for NY 19th

Some analysts are predicting strong Democratic gains in Congress after the 2018 election. Following the latest redistricting prompted by the 2010 census, the New York 19th Congressional District, which includes Sullivan, Ulster Delaware and all or parts of eight other counties, is considered one of only a handful of districts that are truly competitive. Six Democratic candidates are currently vying for the Congressional seat now held by Republican John Faso.

In the past two elections, the Democratic candidates have been accused of being outsiders; this time around, the candidates are stressing their ties to the region. They are also drawing a contrast with Faso’s vote to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The candidates are listed below with some of their web postings on both issues.

Jeff Beals “I’m a local teacher, a former U.S. diplomat who served with distinction in Iraq, and my family has had a farm in the Hudson Valley since I was a boy… After my service overseas, I returned to my family’s farm here in the Hudson Valley to raise my family, raise livestock and answer a call to teach. Today I live in Woodstock where my wife Suhayr and I both teach and our two sons attend school.

“I support universal health care and I see the need for it every day in the thousands of uninsured and under-insured people suffering in our district.”

Dave Clegg “Dave Clegg is the only candidate for Congress who has lived in and worked for this district for his entire career. Dave’s life and work is all about putting people first. Coaching basketball at the YMCA, working with Habitat for Humanity and Family of Woodstock, serving as chair of the Ulster County Human Rights Commission, Dave believes in the potential of every human life, and works tirelessly to help those who have less get ahead in life… People are demanding representatives who serve them, not themselves.

“I support Medicare for All. We deserve freedom from worry—the ability to save for ourselves and our families without the fear that a catastrophic health event could destroy all our hopes for the future.”

Antonio “Born and raised in Schenectady, Antonio is a native of upstate New York. His parents worked for General Electric and benefited from a better regional economy… Antonio attended Colgate University, in Hamilton, NY, where he graduated with high honors and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford.

“Congressman John Faso has spent his time in Washington, DC working to take health insurance away from millions of Americans for no reason other than to create a huge tax giveaway to the wealthiest one percent.”

Brian Brian Flynn is a lifelong progressive and small business owner… A third-generation Greene County resident, his grandfather, along with his family, fled to America to escape religious and economic persecution, and settled in the “Irish Alps” of the Catskill Mountains.”

“The Affordable Care Act was a great start—and we must do everything possible to defend it from the near constant attempts by Donald Trump and the Republicans to repeal it—but we must do even more. I support moving to a Medicare for All system because no one should have to be burdened by unnecessary debt when it comes to maintaining our health and wellness.”

Gareth Gareth Rhodes was born and raised in rural Ulster County. He grew up working on a farm in the Town of Esopus, picking corn in the fields along the Wallkill River in the mornings before school and weeding long rows of tomatoes and green beans during hot summer afternoons.”

“In America, health care should be a right, not a privilege. Gareth is committed to fighting for affordable, quality health care for all, especially the 29 million Americans without insurance and the millions more who are still underinsured.”

Pat “Born and raised in Kingston, I’ve always felt called to serve the community that has done so much for me. That’s what led me to West Point, and guided me through two combat deployments in Iraq. It inspired me to start a small business that delivered better technology to our troops overseas, creating over 150 tech jobs for transitioning veterans.”

“President Trump and Rep. Faso’s plan would take healthcare away from thousands of families in the district, end protections for those with preexisting conditions, and drive up premiums. Faso’s plan would also strip funding from Planned Parenthood, preventing women in the district from accessing affordable preventative care.”

The River Reporter urges voters to visit the candidates websites an become familiar with their positions.


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