If for nothing more than the knowledge he’s gained about Otsego County and its issues in 40-some visits over the past year, Brian Flynn is the logical
candidate for local Democrats to support in the party’s 19th Congressional District primary Tuesday, June 26. The polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m.
Absent someone actually from Otsego County – Cooperstown’s Erin Collier was an attractive entry, but it appears she got involved too late to gain sufficient traction – we need a candidate in a Hudson-Valley-heavy field who cares about Oneonta and Greater Cooperstown.
We also need a congressman who’s strategic, and Flynn has proved he is: By focusing on Otsego, plus Schoharie and Delaware, while others ignored us, he may have carved out the relatively few votes, perhaps as few as 4,500, to win in the seven-person race.
Flynn has also sought out key local folks for his campaign staff, including the brainy Leslie Berliant, who ran for county rep from the Town of Middlefield last fall, and MacGuire Benton of Cooperstown, former Otsego County Young Democrats’ president. Clark Oliver of Oneonta, Benton’s successor at the YDs, was also on the staff for a while.
And Flynn’s also courted and largely won over most of the county’s top Democrats, from county Rep. Gary Koutnik, Oneonta, the ranking Democrat on the county board, to activists Deb Marcus of Oneonta and Melinda Hardin of Cooperstown, to the potent Sustainable Otsego leadership.
(Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, referred to Jeff Beals by a cousin’s wife – no, Beals is not the mayor’s cousin – has been the odd man out in supporting the Woodstock teacher-by-way-of-the-CIA.)
Flynn, while he’s only lived fulltime in the 19th for less than two years – with wife Amy and children Bo, 14, and Heddah, 10 – he has roots, and family roots. He has owned that home in Hunter in Greene County’s ski country for the past 13 years (and bought the property 15 years ago, after a fire, and rebuilt it.) And his grandfather was a bartender and grandmother a chambermaid in Catskill hotels. The Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural Center in East Durham, on the road from Cobleskill to Catskill, is named after a great uncle.
Moreover, he’s got the energy, the brains, an engaging personality, the high-level contacts – his partner in Schlossberg:Flynn, an investment firm, is Caroline Kennedy’s husband, Ed – and the money – both he and big-firm lawyer Antonio Delgado have raised almost $1 million – to win, and this should matter to Democrats.
Whether it should matter to the rest of us remains to be seen, as Flynn and our current congressman, Albany veteran John Faso, R-Kinderhook, sharpen their focus on the issues from the end of June to November.
As we’ve noted here before, Faso would be unobjectionable in normal times; he’s done what a congressman who wants to make a difference would normally do: Get key committee posts, cleave to the party line, but break with the party when sensible, on the merits and on the politics, to do so.
Both of these candidates could
capture the middle, and thus win.
But as Nov. 6 approaches, if it appears – as historical precedence suggests it might – that the House of Representatives will be recaptured overwhelmingly by the Democrats, then a switch to Flynn might make sense.
For now, Brian Flynn, who has gotten to know Otsego County, and vice versa, is the clear and best choice for local Democrats.
A strong turnout – even better, one that clearly is the clear factor in his nomination next Tuesday – would
lock in that relationship for the
benefit of both.
Editor’s Note: Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal went to press last night, and any further political letters regarding the Tuesday, June 26, Democratic primary received through next Monday will be published on www.allotsego.com. Please e-mail them to email@example.com The polls will be open noon-9 p.m. next Tuesday across Otsego County.
I have been involved in the Democratic CD-19 congressional primary race since January 2017. I have interviewed all 10 candidates (three subsequently dropped out) and have hosted and sponsored individual town halls for all of the remaining seven.
I produced and hosted the debate in Cooperstown on June 12. I can safely say that I know the candidates in aggregate as well as anyone in CD-19. It’s time for me to pick one to vote for.
Most of the candidates are good, honest people who would support a centrist or liberal position far different from that of the current administration. I think five of them have the necessary skills and could garner the support to beat John Faso.
I have decided to vote for Brian Flynn.
Flynn has campaigned here in Otsego County far more than has any other candidate. He has been a regular visitor for over 15 months. I understand he has had as many or even more appearances in other parts of the district. From where I sit he has shown the most knowledge and interest in every part of CD-19. He listens and takes notes as much as he speaks. If he doesn’t have a complete answer for a question, he researches it, develops a thoughtful response, and gets back to the questioner.
Flynn’s knowledge and ability to quickly and smoothly express his response are great strengths in dealing with John Faso and his proxies either in direct debate or in other situations. Overall, he has been the most prepared and the most comfortable when being questioned in a debate, a forum, or an interview.
Flynn’s intimate knowledge of my home county and its issues speaks to my desire to have a congressman who knows us – not just the “Hudson River Valley” area.
I have listened to the concerns of people about Flynn’s perceived liabilities. I have also heard concerns about all the others. I am satisfied with the responses I have received from Flynn and with what I have learned on my own. Flynn’s positives very greatly outweigh any negatives.
In my opinion, no other candidate will be a better congressman for this district and my region than Brian Flynn. I have heard the same sentiment from activists throughout CD-19. I will actively support almost anyone who wins the primary, but at I am convinced that Brian Flynn has the best chance to win the election.
CANDIDATES FORUM – 6 – 8 p.m. Democrat Congressional candidates for the 19th district, Jeff Beals, David Clegg, Erin Collier, Antonio Delgado, Brian Flynn, Gareth Rhodes, and Pat Ryan discuss issues, more. HIRC Lecture Hall 1, SUNY Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/OneontaCollegeDems/
YOUTH PROGRAM – 2:30 p.m. Workshop introducing children to methods archaeologists use to find and identify archaeological sites. Cooperstown Village Library. Call 607-547-8344 or visit www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryOfCooperstown/
In today’s weekly report, “Morning Headlines,” on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, Jim Kevlin, editor/publisher of www.AllOTSEGO.com (and Hometown Oneonta & the Freeman’s Journal), reports on the six “dynamic” Democrats who are interested in challenging U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-19, next year. They appeared Sunday at Oneonta’s Sixth Ward Athletic Club.