I read and re-read the letter from Nancy last week. Otsego County has a long history of being moved from district to district. Sometimes we are split west to east, and sometimes our entire County flops from west to east.
Now we are being split in half north to south. This is not the fault of the people running for Congressional Office. This is the fault of population loss plain and simple.
I voted for Anthony Delgado to represent me in the 19th Congressional District, not Elise Stefanik in the 21st Congressional District. I didn’t ask to be redistricted, but now I am being represented by a Trump devotee and I don’t like it. After both parties disagreed on where to draw the lines after the 2020 census, New York Appellate Court Judges appointed map maker Jonathan Cervas, a 37-year-old former bartender from Las Vegas and current postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, to make the decision about redistricting in New York. He says he is pro-democracy and politically independent, but he recently voted for a Republican candidate in a primary and admits that he favors one side more than the other. An article from AllOtsego.com, 5-26-22, says “the new maps split the county roughly in north/south fashion, with towns from Milford and north falling into in the 21st Congressional District; the southern half into the 19th”. I don’t know how all the redrawn lines will affect New York State, but in my corner of the world, I will be voting for Matt Castelli, the probable Democratic candidate to represent me in the new 21st Congressional District and oust Ms. Stefanik in November, and I urge all voters in this new district of New York to evaluate Ms. Stefanik’s political ideology to make their own decision.
A stunning announcement out of Albany this morning upends the race for Otsego County’s congressional representation with Governor Kathy Hochul choosing Rep. Antonio Delgado as her new Lieutenant Governor.
In a statement, the governor said, “I am proud to appoint Antonio Delgado, an outstanding leader and public servant, as Lieutenant Governor of New York, and I look forward to working with him to usher in a new era of fairness, equity, and prosperity for communities across the State. We share a belief in working together to get things done for New Yorkers, and Representative Delgado has an incredible record of doing just that in Congress. With Antonio Delgado by my side serving as Lieutenant Governor, we will both make history – and make a difference.”
“New Yorkers deserve a Lieutenant Governor who’s working day and night to make lives better for working people and their families,” Rep. Delgado said in the same statement. “Upstate, downstate, doesn’t matter. We all want the same things, security, family, and opportunity. The key is to listen to New Yorkers from all walks of life and then be their voice to get the job done.”
Rep. Delgado will serve out the term of Brian Benjamin, who resigned as Lieutenant Governor in April after being arrested and charged on several federal corruption counts. Governor Hochul signed emergency legislation on May 2 that allowed Mr. Benjamin to remove his name from the Democratic Party’s June primary ballot; at this time, courts are deciding whether to keep the state’s primary for governor, lieutenant governor, and other seats in place for June or if those elections will be postponed until August.
At this time, it is not known if Rep. Delgado can or will be automatically added to the ballot as Mr. Benjamin’s replacement.
Pundits view the race for the 19th Congressional District as among the key swing districts in the 2022 elections; prior to this morning’s announcement, Rep. Delgado faced Republican challenger Marc Molinaro — himself a former candidate for governor of New York. No announcement has yet been made about possible alternative Democrat candidates for the seat.
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Otsego County’s Congressman Antonio Delgado’s State of the District address Monday, Jan. 4, the day after he was sworn in for a second term at the U.S. Capitol.
Accessibility, accountability, transparency. To me, these are not just words—they are my creed. I can’t promise that we will always see eye-to-eye on a particular issue.
But I can and do promise you that I will listen to your views, that I will treat them and you with respect, and that, whether we agree on an issue or not, I will explain my position to you.
As I look ahead at my second term in office, these principles will continue to guide me.
I will remain a member of the Committees on Small Business, Agriculture, and Transportation & Infrastructure – not the most high-profile committees in Congress, by any means,
but by far the most important for the needs of our district.
That’s where I want to be.
Using my leverage on these committees, I will redouble my efforts to help our 27,000 small businesses and self-employed individuals thrive despite challenging economic
I will keep fighting to ensure that our more than 5,000 farms – the backbone of both our upstate economy and our rural way of life – can compete in today’s farm economy.
And I will keep pushing for investments in our region’s infrastructure – from roads, to rail, to broadband, to cell service, to hospitals, to public schools, to affordable housing – so that we can ensure a healthier, safer, and more productive future for ourselves and our children.
Our first order of business in this new Congress, however, will be to confront the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While public health experts tell us that the darkest days of the pandemic have yet to come – and it is essential that we remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to keep our loved ones safe – we can find hope in the fact that the scientific community has produced a safe and effective vaccine in record time.
As of today, New York has administered more than 275,000 vaccine doses with almost 500,000 more doses on hand. While the vaccine rollout in New York and across the nation has gotten off to a slower than anticipated start, I’m confident that our state and our country will continue to accelerate the rate of vaccinations in the coming months.
To that end, it is imperative that Congress provides more funding for state and local governments to support those on the ground doing the heavy lifting of coordinating the vaccine’s distribution.
“As some of you know, I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine here in D.C. on Dec. 18, and I will receive my second and final shot here this coming Friday. I took the vaccine upon the advice of the attending physician and consistent with continuity of government guidelines.
But I also took the vaccine to show that the vaccine is safe, and to demonstrate my trust in the public health officials whose expertise and advice has so often been ignored and undermined by those in elected office since the pandemic began.
As I travel back and forth between home and Washington and then make my way all across the district engaging with constituents about the health and the safety of the vaccine, my goal is to build trust and faith in this treatment. When I look someone in the eye and urge them to get vaccinated, I want them to know that I’ve done it, myself.
We have seen the impact of inconsistent leadership on important measures like mask-wearing, and I believe it is critical to clear up any confusion there may be around the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
I will continue to put my faith in this treatment while also ensuring that New York State, and the local governments therein, from counties to hamlets, have all the federal support needed to continue to roll out the vaccine at home.
In closing, I want to say how honored I am to be representing New York’s 19th District for another term. It has been the privilege of a lifetime. On Sunday, I took a sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of this office.
Tonight, I make another pledge to you: that I will continue to listen to your concerns and priorities for our nation; that I will always put what is right for our community above what is easy but wrong; and that I will strive to be an effective representative for everyone in our district.
Thank you, and God bless you.”
Congressman Delgado, now living in Rhinebeck, is a Colgate and Harvard Law School graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, and an experienced litigator on his election in 2018.
In effect, the Republican Party this season failed to field a candidate against freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado in the 19th District, which includes Otsego County.
While a contest can sharpen an incumbent’s resolve, Delgado – except for voting “aye” on impeachment – has pretty much done everything right in his first term.
First, he’s been present, holding more than two-dozen town hall meetings district-wide, including at Oneonta, Cooperstown and Cherry Valley, and showing up with his family at such places as the Cooperstown Bat Company.
He was at a poverty summit at Foothills last year, and followed up with special funding to Opportunities for Otsego. That’s one of many examples of his attentiveness.
And he’s educated himself on farming, challenges facing small business, broad-
band and other regional challenges. Most astonishingly, he has sponsored legislation of sufficient breadth to pass the Republican Senate and get signed into law by the Republican in chief.
He’s certainly earned reelection, as the Republican Party and major GOP donors seem to have concluded, too.
As of Oct. 14, Delgado had raised $5,689,567 toward his reelection. His challenger, a Poughkeepsie lawyer, Kyle Van De Water, had raised $130,381; that’s 2.3 percent of his opponent’s take.
Van de Water was further damaged, as if that were necessary, by the Ola Hawatmeh sideshow. The St. Louis fashion designer, by way of Poughkeepsie, lost the Republican primary, but continues on as an independent. Her signs are everywhere around here, compared to few to none for Van de Water.
What’s that all about?
Looking ahead, a Delgado victory may work for us in another way.
If Joe Biden wins the presidency, our junior U.S. senator, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, has been mentioned for a Cabinet post. And Delgado’s been mentioned, if that happens, as the leading prospect to fill the Gillibrand vacancy.
Having one of two U.S. senators with such an understanding of Otsego County and the rest of the 19th as Delgado, and all the local contacts he’s developed in the past two years, can’t hurt us.
This may be his local swansong, anyhow. With New York State looking to lose two Congressional districts in next year’s redistricting, one scenario has Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney retiring, and his 18th District in the Hudson Valley being folded into Delgado’s 19th.
If that happens, it’s likely Otsego County could be folded back into a Central New York District – Democrat Anthony Brindisi’s (or Republican Claudia Tenney’s) Utica-based 22nd.
Thinking back on Sherry Boehlert’s and Mike Arcuri’s congressional tenures, that sounds pretty good. After all, the Hudson Valley is a long
PHOTOGRAPHY – 6:45 a.m. Take a camera to explore Otsego Lake at sunrise with photographer Kevin Gray providing tips on composition, lighting, more. Registration required. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
PHOTO EXCURSION – 5 p.m. Join photographer Kevin Gray for a walk through the historic village during the Golden Hour at sunset, after the museum is closed to take gorgeous photos. Gray will provide tips on composition, lighting, camera techniques, more. Cost, $17/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.facebook.com/farmersmuseum/
SCIENCE TRIVIA – 7 – 9 p.m. Join AJ Read Science Discovery Center and SUNY Oneonta for 3 round game all about science. Bring your friends or play solo in this Zoom based game. Registration required. Visit www.facebook.com/AJReadSDC/ for info.
Today, lawyer and Army veteran Kyle Van De Water made it official: He plans to run against first-term Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado in New York’s 19th District.
Van De Water has been doing what he did in Worcester last week: asking for and receiving support of most of the county committees in the nine-county district.
“With the complete support of my wife and children, our family and friends, and now the majority of the Republican county committees that make up the 19th District, I am excited to announce that I am running for Congress,” he said in a press release.
COOPERSTOWN – Joining three Republican aspirants, Steve Greenfield, New Paltz, announced this morning he will be running on the Green Party ticket this year against freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado, R-19. The 19th District includes Otsego County.
In his announcement, Greenfield said he will be among candidates who this year will provide a “referendum on war — and on fossil fuels, and denial of health care, and mass incarceration of minorities, and poverty, and all forms of inequality, and public and higher education, and on the human and environmental destruction created by non-defensive militarism and monopoly corporate profiteering.
ONEONTA – An Oneontan, Maj. Gen. Anthony German, who retired as New York State’s top military officer Feb. 2, is planning to challenge freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, in next year’s election, county Republican chairman Vince Casale confirmed a few minutes ago.
The Times Union is reporting that German planned to file his paperwork this morning with the state Board of Elections.
Raised in Schoharie County, German graduate from SUNY Oneonta (and also is a graduate of the Naval War College.) While rising to the top of the state’s Air National Guard, and then to lead all 20,000 of New York military, Oneonta continued to be his home.
He and wife, Diana, raised four children here, Josh, Ben, Zach and Bekah.
Otsego County’s congressman, Antonio Delgado, D-19th, today announced he will serve as a member of the Small Business Committee.
The 19th Congressional District is home to over 27,000 small businesses, his office’s announcement reported.
“From simplifying bureaucracy for business owners to ensuring that they have access to federal loans and resources, serving as a member of this committee will allow me to help the small businesses that are vital to our local economy in Upstate New York,” Delgado was quoted as saying.
Amanda Boomhower of Greene County, who has held staff positions with three congressmen, will be district director in the 19th Congressional District, which includes Otsego County, Congressman-elect Antonio Delgado announced today.
She would be the point of contact for local constituents, and oversee county offices.
LOUDONVILLE – Freshman Republican Representative John Faso is ahead of his Democratic opponent Antonio Delgado by just a single point in the Siena Poll released this morning.
Forty-four percent of likely voters support Faso, 43 percent support Delgado, 6 percent are with a third-party candidate, and 7 percent are undecided, according to a new Spectrum News/Siena College poll of likely 19th Congressional District voters.
HERO RUN/WALK – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Memorial run/walk for all the heroes who lost their lives on 9/11/01 and honoring the heroes who still answer the call. Fly Creek Volunteer Fire Company., 832 Co. Hwy. 26, Fly Creek. Visit hero5k.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=6181
RODEO – 4 – 11 p.m. Support your hometown baseball team at Saturday Night Showdown. Pre-rodeo features games, food, music. Rodeo kicks off at 7, followed at 9 by party with music, cash bar, snacks. Tickets, $20/adult. Available at SFCU locations, ISD, The Shipping Room, or Online. Oneonta Outlaws, Damaschke Field, 15 James Georgeson Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-6326 or visit www.facebook.com/oneontaoutlawsbaseball/
The candidates in this fall’s campaign for Congress from Otsego County’s 19th District will be making local public appearances:
Today, Democrat Antonio Delgado will conduct a meet and greet at 7 p.m. at the Richfield Springs Public Library, 102 Main St., sponsored by the Rotary Club. Free; public welcome.
Friday, Republican John Faso, the incumbent will be in Oneonta at 5 p.m. for a fish fry to benefit Ed Telfer at the Vets’ Club, 278 Chestnut St. Telfer was injured in a motorcycle accident two weeks ago.