Kingston Dem chair endorses Rhodes in NY19 race

Gareth Rhodes, one of six Democratic candidates competing for support to challenge Republican Rep. John Faso in November, announced Monday that he had won the endorsement of the Democratic chairman of the City of Kingston, the largest city in the 11-county 19th Congressional District.

Joe Donaldson, the Kingston Democratic chairman, gave several reasons for his decision in a press release from Rhodes’ campaign, including Rhodes’ Ulster County roots and his campaigning for Kingston City Council candidates and other local Democrats in last year’s elections. Rhodes, a law student and former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has been traveling the 19th District in an RV to meet voters, promising to visit all 163 towns and cities before the Democratic primary on June 26.

Congressional candidate Gareth Rhodes (right) with City of Kingston Democratic Chairman Joe Donaldson

“He has demonstrated a clear commitment not only to his future constituents, but also to building future bridges to strengthen local parties – exactly what we need from our next member of Congress,” Donaldson said in the announcement. “Gareth’s progressive values, government experience, working class background, and grassroots approach to visit all 163 towns in NY-19 is how we’ll win this race and bring our voices to Washington.”

The other Democrats campaigning to run for the 19th District are Jeff Beals, Dave Clegg, Antonio Delgado, Brian Flynn and Pat Ryan.

Clegg announced last week Indivisible Ulster, the local affiliate of a national progressive movement, had endorsed him. In a press release from Clegg’s campaign, Teresa Lepore of Indivisible Ulster – whose members have participated in regular protests outside Faso’s Kingston office, known as “Faso Fridays” – praised Clegg’s decades of involvement in progressive causes.

“Indivisible Ulster’s goals and values mesh seamlessly with those of Dave Clegg,” Lepore said. “An activist in our community for over 30 years, Dave doesn’t just talk about being a progressive Democrat, he has lived it. We’re proud to endorse his candidacy for Congress because he is the best candidate to defeat John Faso and stand up to Donald Trump’s hateful and divisive agenda.”

Clegg, a Woodstock resident, also announced in December that Woodstock Town Supervisor Bill McKenna had endorsed him.

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