ONEONTA – Tony German, the retired general of the state’s National Guard, announced today he has dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination to run against Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado in the 19th District.
“I couldn’t raise the required money,” he confirmed a few minutes ago. An Oneonta resident, he was the only candidate to emerge so far from Otsego County.
In a statement, he threw his support behind Ola Hawatmeh, , 42, a fashion designer and two-time breast cancer survivor who moved back to her hometown of Poughkeepsie from St. Louis in July to run against Delgado. She’s a 1999 graduate of Marist College.
The other part is: By voting for President Trump’s impeachment, is freshman Congressman Anthony Delgado, D-19, endangering his chances of reelection?
Yes, said Otsego County Republican Chairman Vince Casale: “He’s going against the majority of the will of his constituents, against how they voted in 2016.”
Regardless, Delgado had to do what he believes, said Otsego County Democratic Chairman Aimee Swan: “Regarding impeachment, we think that Congressman Delgado is doing a great job communicating his reasoning to the voters and we believe that he will continue to have the kind of broad support that got him elected.”
The U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote Wednesday, Dec. 18 – this edition went to press the night before – on two articles of impeachment against Trump, and Delgado announced Sunday the 15th that he would vote for both articles.
His colleague to the north, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi of Utica, D-22, reached the same conclusion, but it was a tougher one: In 2018, He had very narrowly beaten the incumbent, Republican Claudia Tenney, 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent, and she’s challenging him in 2020.
Delgado has a little more breathing space: He beat incumbent Republican John Faso by a lesser margin, 50.4 percent, but Faso’s margin was winnowed to 46.2 percent by Green and Independent candidates also running in the 19th.
So far, Delgado is facing a Republican challenge from Maj. Gen. (ret.) Tony German of Oneonta, former commander of the state National Guard. And perhaps a more formidable one: Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who ran for governor last year. Casale said to expect news about formidable entries “after the first of the year.”
Hartwick College Poly-Sci Professor Laurel Elder agreed with Casale and Swan’s formulations, summing it up as follows: “We know it’s a very divided district; there’s no way he can please everybody.”
Harkening back to 2018, however, she recalled that several Democrats in the Congressional primary were significantly to the left of Delgado. If he hadn’t stepped forward on impeachment, he might have provoked a primary next June.
“There’s energy in the wings of the party,” she observed.
Regardless, Delgado (and Brindisi) fall into a category that is generating a lot of interest: Democratic congressmen elected in 2018 to districts – some, like the 19th, are being called “purple districts” – that supported Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Trump won the 19th by 6.8 percentile points, to Delgado’s 4.2. (In Otsego County, Trump’s margin was greater, 51.85 percent to Clinton’s 40.72 percent, or 11.13 percentile points. In 2018, Delgado won 48.97 percent of Otsego’s votes; Faso, 48.47 percent, or 0.5 percentile points.)
Since, statistically, members of Congress are most vulnerable when running for reelection after one term, a counter-sweep next November could put Congress back in Republicans hands just in time for the 2021 reapportionment that will follow the 2020 Census.
An indication of that significance: Both national newspapers, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, had reporters shadowing Delgado the week leading up to his announced he’ll support impeachment.
The Journal’s Natalie Andrews reported Delgado being greeted by “vote no on impeachment cries” and a single “yes on impeachment” cry on arriving at a Town Hall meeting in Highland, Ulster County. She spoke to voters similarly split on the congressman, although they all seemed to like him.
Echoing what Aimee Swan said, The Times’ Emily Cochrane said voting for impeachment “had made it all the more important for Mr. Delgado and Democrats like him to find ways to show voters they are getting things done in Congress, which is why he is crisscrossing his district through flurries, working on local issues and connecting with constituents.”
And why Speaker Nancy Pelosi scheduled Wednesday’s impeachment vote between votes on muscular legislation, one to fund the government, the other on the new NAFTA.
Utica-based Congressman Anthony Brindisi, D-22, has joined his colleague in the neighboring 19th District in announcing he plans to vote tomorrow for President Trump’s impeachment, he said today in an exclusive interview with the Syracuse Newspapers.
Brindisi “has attracted national attention as a key swing vote on impeachment. He had been considered one of the most likely Democrats to split with his party on the historic vote.”
Otsego County’s congressman, Antonio Delgado, who similarly is a freshman, announced Sunday he will vote for impeachment.
Brindisi, who narrowly won election against incumbent Republican Claudia Tenney in a recount, is facing a challenge from Tenney next November.
Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, will vote for President Trump’s impeachment, he announced at 12:32 p.m. today.
The freshman congressman, whose district includes Otsego County, released this statement saying he supports both Articles of Impeachment the House of Representatives plan to vote on this coming week:
“The President pressured a foreign government for personal political gain while withholding congressionally approved foreign aid, and in doing so, both abused his power and put our national security at risk.
U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, who represents Otsego County in Congress, said he voted aye Thursday to launch a formal impeachment proceeding against President Trump “because I am committee to transparency and accountability.”
The 232-196 vote along generally partisan lines — only two Democrats voted against the measure — established a “formal process for the relevant committees to continue their work, Delgado said.
He said, “I believe this resolution will allow the American people to see the ongoing work within these committees, to follow the facts, and to protect our national security.”
PRESENTATION – 7 p.m. Nights of the Roundtable program features author David Pietrusza presenting “Field of Myths: 100 Years After Baseball’s 1919 Black Sox Scandal. Finally Separating the Many Myths from the Reality” dissecting reality behind myth of infamous Black Sox World Series Fix. Cooperstown Village Library. 607-547-8344 or visit www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryOfCooperstown/
Drug courts and treatment, rather than immediately resorting to incarceration, are key to tackling the opioid-addiction epidemic, Congressman Antonio Delgado, R-19, said in a press conference this morning.
“The more we can get away from incarceration and toward treatment, the better,” he said.
Though he did not offer specifics, Delgado has been meeting with organizations ranging from hospitals providing medical treatment to community groups giving moral and psychological support to addicts and their families during his in-district workweek.
SCI-FI & HORROR – 11 a.m. Day 2 of the strange and horrific festival. Features authors, vendors, speakers, activities, more. Cost, $6/person for day pass. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/SciFiHorroFest/
Within minutes of Antonio Delgado proclaiming his support for impeaching Donald Trump on Monday, Sept. 23, the National Republican Campaign Committee declared it is the freshman 19th District congressman’s “political death sentence.”
It’s out of character, for sure. On issues to date, Delgado’s played it safe, focusing legislative efforts on agriculture, broadband and healthcare, knowing, regardless, little legislation sent from the Democratic House of Representatives to the Republican U.S. Senate is going anywhere.
He’s played it just right in what Otsego County’s Republican Chairman Vince Casale calls “a textbook definition of a swing district.”
What did he have to gain by coming out for impeachment?
The 19th District voters who supported impeachment –Democrats and some centrists, mostly – had nowhere to go except Delgado. Sensible centrism made sense for an out-of-district candidate in his vulnerable freshman year: build cred, firm up the base incrementally.
That’s out the window now.
“My impression is this is a pure moral, ethical stand,” said Richard Sternberg, Cooperstown, the Democratic strategist and his party’s Town of Otsego chairman. “Having identified and political risks, he’s basically making a courageous stand.”
A look back on Election Night 2018 is illuminating, and shows vulnerability.
Delgado beat incumbent Republican John Faso handily by an 11.3 percent margin (147,873-132,873), but given the four-way race – remember the Green Party’s Steve Greenfield and independent Diane Neal, the “Law & Order SVU” actress? – he garnered less than a majority (48.6 percent) of the total vote.
We forget: Ulster County, a Democratic stronghold in the swing 19th, won the election for him. The Delgado lead there – it makes sense the congressman then established his district office in Kingston – was 19,052. Districtwide, he only won by 15,000.
And he only won four of 11 counties in the 19th: Otsego and Schoharie, both squeakers, the Dutchess portion just comfortably, plus Ulster.
Not a landslide. Reelection isn’t a sure thing.
Until the Sept. 23 announcement, Delgado had played it cool. It’s hard to think of any controversial stance on anything.
Maybe he simply got carried away by the Democratic fever that swept the House of Representatives over
the weekend of Sept. 21-22, after the Ukraine-gate surfaced.
Think 40 years ahead. A young lad is sitting on his grandfather’s lap, “What did you do in Congress,
Granpa?” Would grey-haired Delgado really want to reply, “Sat on the sidelines of history, Sonny.”
Casale presented an alternate scenario to Sternberg’s: “He’s scared of the left of center” – in Ulster County, if anywhere. “If he’s not with them, they will threaten him with a primary.”
Leading up to presstime this week, it appeared it may be, where goeth the polls, so goeth the presidency.
On Saturday the 28th, an NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll found 49 percent of Americans favored
impeachment – up 10 percent from April, when the Mueller Report was first released; 46 percent said impeachment was unnecessary.
By the next day, a CBS poll found 55 percent favored impeachment, to 45 percent saying it wasn’t warranted. Building, building… (Monday the 30th, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there WILL be a trial in the Senate if the House sends up articles of impeachment. Hmmm.)
But FiveThirtyEight, and pollsters who led the New York Times over a cliff in 2016, were expressing caution in the form of the “differential nonresponse bias.” – “If partisans on one side of a political question respond to a survey more readily than partisans on the other side, … the results in your poll won’t match the real-world opinion. “… Instead, the poll will be skewed by how willing some people are to respond to a survey.”
Given how sure-footed Antonio Delgado was in dispatching six Democratic primary challengers last year, then grinding down Faso, it’s interesting to see him bet all on this impeachment thing. It’s a plunge.
Delgado’s next local Town Hall meeting is 6-7 p.m. this Saturday, Oct 5, in the Cherry Valley Community Center, 2 Genesee St. Go and ask him about it.
On impeachment overall, waiting for the outcome of the 2020 presidential election – it’ll be here before we know it – would have been a better way to tamp down acrimony. But that’s not to be.
COOPERSTOWN – “He’s here. I know he’s here,” county board Chair David Bliss said around the noon hour, looking into Clerk of the Board Carol McGovern’s office through a door at the front left of the board meeting room.
Suddenly, there he was: Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, all 6-foot-4 of him, who said he’d just driven up from his Rhinebeck home, two and a half hours away. Some of the attendees seemed aware he was showing up; others seemed genuinely surprised.
Otsego County’s Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, Tuesday, Sept. 24, joined at least 61 Democratic congressmen who changed their minds over the weekend and now support impeachment of President Trump.
“Having taken an oath of office before God and my fellow citizens to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, I can only conclude that Congress move forward with articles of impeachment,” the congressman said in a statement released at 8:23 a.m.
The change of position was prompted by the president having “admitted to soliciting the Ukranian president to investigate a political rival. In doing so, (Trump) used the power of the presidency to pressure a foreign government to help him win an election,” the statement said.
In developments that afternoon, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the House Democrats will launch an impeachment investigation into the president. That evening, the president said on Wednesday he would release a full transcript of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Within minutes of Delgado announcing his decision, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement saying the freshman congressman “jumped on the socialist Democrats’ baseless efforts,” adding, “In a district President Trump won by more than 6 points, Antonio Delgado’s decision to pursue impeachment will be a political death sentence.”
The New York Times was reporting today Delgado was one of 61 congressmen who shifted into the pro-impeachment column in the past few days. Overall, 196 congressman now support impeachment, 77 oppose it, and 162 have not yet returned The Times’ calls, the newspaper reported.
“This is a far cry from the bipartisan and unifying message we heard in the Congressman’s slick campaign commercials less than two years ago,” German said. “He was elected to work across the aisle and govern. Today, the Congressman abandoned his commitment to governance in order to appease the most extreme elements of his base. This is exactly the type of behavior that inspired me to run. Politicians will never fix Washington.”
The Otsego County Democratic Party issued a statement praising Delgado’s “judgment and commitment to the critical oversight role” in changing his mind and now supporting President Trump’s impeachment.
“Beginning an impeachment investigation is the appropriate response when there is credible evidence that the laws of this country may have been violated by a sitting President,” it continued.
Casale said, “I wish the Congressman would focus on doing the work of the people of his district instead of taking us down another rabbit hole. It wasn’t enough to waste the taxpayer’s time and money on the Muller investigation, now we are on to a new bogus charge against the President.”