Antonio Delgado emerged the winner from a field of seven Democrats in New York’s closely-watched 19th House District primary. He’ll face freshman incumbent Republican John Faso in November.
Delgado garnered about 22 percent of the vote in the 11-county swing district.
“This is it,” Delgado said. “It’s about you. It’s about the people. It’s about being out there every day on the front lines from here until November.”
Delgado, of Rhinebeck, claimed victory at Rough Draft Bar & Books in Kingston. Ulster County resident Gareth Rhodes came in second with about 18 percent of the vote, followed closely by Kingston resident Pat Ryan.
Delgado received about 22 percent of the vote in the 11-county swing district.
Delgado thanked Rhodes, Ryan, and the other Democratic contenders — Greene County resident Brian Flynn; Dave Clegg and Jeff Beals, both of Woodstock, and Erin Collier of Cooperstown, and he thanked his supporters.
"I want us to believe in our power. Believe in our power, and we will see this thing through," he said.
Delgado also acknowledged the support of Citizen Action of New York, where Quintin Cross is the lead organizer for the Hudson Valley.
"Antonio Delgado is the best person to carry our message of social, racial and economic and environmental justice. He is the voice of those who are voiceless, the communities that we try to build up at Citizen Action," said Cross.
Delgado expressed appreciation for endorsements from Ilene and Michelle Hinchey, the wife and daughter of the late Congressman Maurice Hinchey, and Dan Ahouse, Hinchey’s former chief of staff.
"And I could not think of a better example, a better legacy, to attempt, with every bit of fiber in my bones, to carry on, could not think of one, so I am humbled, and honored, so thank you to the Hinshey family, for their support," he said.
In 2017, Catskill resident Andrea Mitchell attended a rally and told Congressman Faso she was concerned about losing health insurance given her pre-existing conditions. Faso gave her a hug and assurances that such would not be the case, and it was caught on video. The exchange thrust Mitchell into the national media spotlight. Faso voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now, Mitchell appears in an ad for Delgado and cheered for his victory Tuesday.
"I think that Antonio has such a comprehensive plan that will get us universal health care now. I think that Medicaid for all is a plan that has to wait, I don't think it's going pass under Trump, and a woman with disabilities, I can't wait on that, I need someone with a plan, today," said Mitchell.
Delgado spoke about what was at the top of his platform.
"Healthcare. Absolutely. Universal, affordable healthcare. I'd also argue for infrastructure, we need infrastructure here. Roads, rail, broadband access, cell service. And not far behind that, education and environment. Those are the areas I'll focus on," he said.
In a statement, Faso congratulated Delgado and says voters will have a crystal clear choice in November. Faso also took aim at Delgado’s having moved to the district last year.
Faso said: “He will soon learn, as the last two Democrat candidates for Congress before him, that our neighbors do not look kindly upon candidates who have just moved into our district and presume to represent us.” End quote.
Faso won the seat in 2016 over Democrat Zephyr Teachout by about 25,000 votes of more than 307,000 cast — around an 8-point spread. Meantime, Green Party candidate Steve Greenfield also congratulated Delgado, but said, quote, “"In all ways, the Delgado victory illustrates the vacating of Democratic Party responsibility for offering experienced, locally sourced, politically progressive candidates to voters in New York's 19th District.”