[Editor’s note: This week’s edition goes to press just as the news about Rep. Delgado is breaking; we offer here a brief analysis of the situation as it stands on the morning of May 3.]
For Otsego County, Governor Kathy Hochul’s May 3 announcement appointing Rep. Antonio Delgado as her new second-in-command in Albany is nothing short of politically seismic — a move that could send aftershocks throughout the entire state and even into Washington, D.C.
Certainly Rep. Delgado was a Washington up-and-comer, an important part of the Democratic Party’s hopes to keep its majority in the 2022 mid-term elections. That he was pitted against a popular Republican challenger, Marc Molinaro, in an electoral district whose boundaries hang in the balance of a federal mediator, might have had something to do with his decision to take the offer.
Political machinations notwithstanding, Governor Hochul’s choice is a wise one. Rep. Delgado has proven himself to be a tireless and energetic voice for Otsego County and his district as a whole. Smart, approachable, and affable, when he shows up at an event or to tour a business, he shows up with good questions and displays a genuine interest in the issues at hand.
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.