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NY-19 Democratic Candidates Weigh In One Week Before The Primary

NY-19 Democratic hopefuls at WAMC's debate in May.
Patrick Garrett
NY-19 Democratic hopefuls at WAMC's debate in May.

One week from Tuesday, Democratic voters in New York’s 19th House district will send one of seven primary candidates to face Republican Congressman John Faso in November. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne checked in with all seven to find out their plans and sentiments in the final days.

Voters across the 11-county swing district will decide who they think can best take on freshman Congressman Faso in the general election.

“Well, we’re all about getting out the vote,” Clegg says.

That’s Woodstock resident Dave Clegg.

“I am hopeful. I do see a path for us to win. I think it’s impossible to figure out what’s going to happen here. It’s a wide open race. I don’t know how anybody can feel overly confident,” says Clegg. “But, what I really feel good about is that we’ve got the best volunteers in the world and the most loyal voters in the world, and so I think that gives us a shot.”

Greene County resident Brian Flynn does not think the race is wide open.

“So we got two or three sources of data to validate our belief that we’re winning. And we’ve been able to validate that,” Flynn says. “And we’ve been able to validate that the race has thinned out among a few people who have significant support.”

Those few people, according to Flynn, number three, including himself. Flynn’s internal polling shows Antonio Delgado and Patrick Ryan as the other two on top.

Delgado, who moved to Dutchess County in 2017, says his campaign has performed internal polling as well, but declined to offer details. As for whether he thinks the race is wide open:

“I think in a crowded field, anything is possible. There’s no doubt about that,” Delgado says. “But I do also believe that we have certainly done we can do to best put ourselves to best put ourselves in the position to win.”

His plans for the next week also include a lot of meeting and greeting.

“Work. Work very hard,” says Delgado. “Continue to knock on as many doors as we possibly can, lots of phone banking, and just continue to do what we’ve been doing, which is to make sure we’re on the ground nonstop delivering a message to get people excited and, of course, taking all that support that we’ve been able to fortunately receive and turn it into votes come June 26th.”

Former U.S. Diplomat and Woodstock resident Jeff Beals.

“I think we’re winning it. We’ve identified thousands upon thousands of supporters who are now calling their friends, and their friends are calling their friends,” Beals says. “I think that we’re on the path to a great victory on June 26th if everybody votes for what they believe in.”

Cooperstown resident and agricultural economist during the Obama Administration Erin Collier says she is buoyed by lots of positive feedback and support.

“Coming from a working class family in our district, I have so many people talking to me saying that they relate to that and that really speaks to them,” Collier says. “And I think that that kind of positive support is really looking hopeful in this last week.”

Kingston resident Patrick Ryan says he is spending the final week meeting as many people as possible.

“I very much think this is a contact sport so we’re trying to make as many contacts as we can here, and just amping up that effort,” Ryan says.

Ryan, an Iraq war veteran, says his plans also include a Monday rally with Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton, who has been endorsing out-of-state Democratic veterans. And what does Ryan think of his chances?

“Oh, we’re going to win. I have no doubt about it,” says Ryan. “I don’t think that it’s as wide open as some accounts have portrayed it. All of our polling data shows it as a pretty tight race between me and Delgado. And we know that I’m the only candidate that actually wins against Faso.”

Ulster County resident Gareth Rhodes, a former aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has embarked on a mini version of his initial Rhodes trip in a Winnebago.

“So, we finished our trip to all 163 towns last Monday,” Rhodes say. “And then I announced that we’re going to do 11 town halls in 11 counties in 11 days.”

“The New York Times” has endorsed Rhodes.

“We have a lot of momentum coming together in every single town in this district. Certainly we fell the momentum building all over. But this is going to be certainly a hard fought race, so our supporters need to get out and vote,” Rhodes says. “But this is a vote to take back New York 19. That’s what ‘The New York Times’ said. We have to support a candidate who can win.”

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Martin says, “In this crowded primary field, Bernie Sanders doppelgänger Jeff Beals has driven the policy debate. The result will be an eventual Democratic nominee that’s far to the left of where the district is.” Jeff Beals:

“I think our politics isn’t left/right. I don’t think it’s even Republican/Democrat,” says Beals. “I think it’s people power versus corporate power.”

Brian Flynn.

“The good thing is that I’ve been a lifelong Progressive Democrat based on deeds not words,” says Flynn. “I’ve been always been an advocate for progressive causes. This is not a new thing for me, so I didn’t need to be pushed anywhere.”

Collier says she has remained steadfast in her stance since the start.

“So I would say that my policies as well have been just as progressive and that has been a, fighting for working families has been a focus of mine just as much,” says Collier.

The Democratic primary is June 26th.

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