Political Races Aplenty In 2020

Political Races

Aplenty In 2020

Lawyer Challenges Delgado;

Jim Powers In Assembly Run

Both candidates for the 19th Congressional District seats were in Otsego County in recent days. Republican Kyle Van De Water, left, shakes hands with county committee members at the Worcester White House Inn Thursday, Feb. 13. Democratic incumbent Antonio Delgado, right, poses with State Committee Member Richard Sternberg and Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch at the Rotary Club meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18, at The Otesaga. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Having filled a vacancy on the Millbrook Village Board in 2017, Republican Kyle Van De Water, a Poughkeepsie lawyer, ran for a full term in 2018.

As he knocked on doors and handed out literature, he discovered volunteers for Democratic Congressional candidate Antonio Delgado had gotten there before him.

And Delgado’s army of volunteers also handed out literature for the two Democratic Milbrook trustee candidates, Kevin McGrane and Tim Collopy, Van De Water told the Otsego and Schoharie Republican county committees at a two-county gathering last week at the Worcester White House Inn.

When the votes were counted that Nov. 4, Delgado had won – and McGrane and Collopy had narrowly surpassed Van De Water. Thanks, Delgado, Van De Water implied.

If Delgado was the shadow candidate against Van De Water in 2018, this year it will be a mano a mano between the two attorneys, as the Republican announced Tuesday, Feb. 18, he will challenge the first-term Democrat for the 19th Congressional District seat, which includes Otsego County, in this year’s Nov. 5 election.

Jim Powers, Butternuts, announced he is running to succeed Assemblyman Cliff Crouch, R-Bainbridge.

With Van De Water’s announcement and that of Jim Powers, Town of Butternuts, former county board chairman, who is running to succeed retiring assembly Clifford Crouch, R-122, almost all voters across Otsego County will have choices in every race on this fall’s ballot, leading off with President Donald Trump and a Democrat to be named.

The exception proving the rule is Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, who locally represents the towns of Cherry Valley, Roseboom, Decatur and Worcester. He stepped back from a run to succeed retiring state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and so far faces no challenge to his incumbency.  Also, so far a Democrat is lacking to succeed Assemblyman Cliff Crouch in the 122nd.

Another Republican Congressional contender, Ola Hawatmeh of Poughkeepsie, who presented herself as “the Republican Ilhan Omar,” also spoke to the GOP committees at Worcester, but Otsego County Republican Chairman Vince Casale said Van De Water, having lined up county committee supports – “most important, he has his own county committee” – is likely to divert a primary Hawatmeh said she would pursue.
“If these candidates need to spend resources and time in the primary, they aren’t going to have the kind of resources they need to run an effective campaign against Delgado; it’s just not going to happen,” said Casale.

He estimated $2-3 million will be needed to mount an effective challenge, adding, “If a campaign (Van De Water’s) takes off, the money will be easy to raise.”

Delgado hasn’t officially announced he’s seeking another term, but it’s expected he will. In an appearance at the Cooperstown Rotary Club Tuesday, Feb. 18, he ticked off a laundry list of legislation passed in the Democratic House and sent on to the Republican Senate.

Two of Delgado’s bills have even been signed into law by President Trump, he said, achieved by only six Democrats. They include the Family Farm Relief Act, which raises the cap on smaller farms able to reorganize under Bankruptcy Laws from $3 million to $10 million.
He also has high hopes a bill that would organize all federal permitting processes in the same website, making it easier for citizens and businesses to determine what they can and can’t do.

In other races:


Adam Hall, Moravia, is running to succeed Senator Seward, who has endorsed Peter Oberacker, Schenevus, as his successor.

Adam Hall, a young father of four from Moravia, Cayuga County, announced he is running to succeed Senator Seward. A conservative, he’s opposed to the state’s bail-reform regimen and worries about impingement on Second Amendment rights.

He joins a race that includes county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, whom Seward is supporting as his successor. Praising the senator’s 34-year tenure, Oberacker, president of FormTech, which does product research for national food companies said he’s applying a maxim from his industry to succeeding Seward: “Find something successful – and copy it.”

Hall planned to run as a Republican, but learned county committees have already gotten behind Oberacker. He may run in a Republican primary regardless, he said.

The Democratic candidate in the race is Jim Barber, a farmer from Schoharie and son of J. Roger Barber, state Ag & Markets commissioner in Gov. Hugh Carey’s administration.


In announcing he’ll run in the 122nd, a four-county district that includes the Otsego towns of Morris, Butternuts and Unadilla, Powers expects to face perhaps a half-dozen contenders in a Republican primary.

He said Crouch is supporting Jim Angelino, a retired Norwich police chief, and that Nick Libous, son of the former state senator from Binghamton, is also running.

But, he said, he’s the only contender who has actually held an elective office. The splintered field may actually help Powers, he reasoned, and said he has a strategy he’s not yet ready to reveal.

A Democrat has not yet surfaced there.

In the two other in-county Assembly district, Dan Buttermann, NYCM adjuster, Oneonta school board member and organizer of Ted-X Oneonta programs, is challenging first-term Republican John Salka of Brookfield, in the 121st, which includes Cooperstown and Oneonta.

In the 101st, incumbent Republican Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, is challenged for a second time by Chad McEvoy of Westford. The narrow district that runs from Utica to Orange County, called “The Catskill Snake,” includes Springfield, Middlefield, Westford and Maryland locally.

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