Meet the NY-19 Democratic candidates (updated)

All six Democrats vying to challenge Republican Rep. John Faso in November are scheduled to speak and answer questions from voters at two public forums in Ulster County that the Esopus Democratic Committee and Indivisible Ulster are co-sponsoring.

Each Democratic candidate for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat will get 30 minutes to address the audience and field questions at the two-hour sessions scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 11 and Jan. 18 at Esopus Town Hall, which is at 284 Broadway in Ulster Park. Ashley Dittus, Ulster County’s Democratic election commissioner, will moderate the forums.

The three candidates speaking on Jan. 11 and their start times are: Patrick Ryan, 7:15;  Brian Flynn, 7:45; and Jeff Beals, 8:15. The trio scheduled for Jan. 18 are:  Antonio Delgado, 7:15; David Clegg, 7:45, and Gareth Rhodes, 8:15.

Audience members can submit questions in advance on the Esopus committee’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/democraticcommittee) or in person at the beginning of the forums.

It is an unusually crowded and well-funded field of candidates that has lined up to compete against Faso in what will be his first re-election race. Whichever would-be challengers stay in the race after several more months of campaigning will compete in a Democratic primary in June. Faso, a former assemblyman and Kinderhook resident, won a race to succeed three-term Republican Chris Gibson by a fairly large margin in 2016. The 19th District takes in all or parts of 11 counties in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, including all of Ulster and Sullivan counties.

Delgado, a 40-year-old attorney who lives in Rhinebeck, recently released a new campaign video (“Family”) that features his parents and emphasizes the values they instilled him when he grew up in Schenectady.

(Update: Rhodes, a 29-year-old law student and former deputy press secretary for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced Friday that he raised more than $450,000 in 2017, and that 1,500 of his donors had given $100 or less. Rhodes, who has started touring the district in an RV, touted that mass of small donors as an indication of broad support. All candidates are due to file their fourth-quarter fundraising reports later this month.)

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    Chris McKenna

    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full
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