Faso and Teachout will debate in Kingston
KINGSTON >> The two candidates in one of the mostly hotly contested congressional election in the state will face off in an Oct. 27 debate at Congregation Emanuel on Albany Avenue.
Republican John Faso and Democrat Zephyr Teachout are embroiled in a heated race for the 19th Congressional District seat that’s being vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson. Faso has painted Teachout as a carpetbagger and a radical professor beholden to New York City, and Teachout has characterized Faso as a politician-turned-lobbyist controlled by big-money donors.
The debate at the synagogue, 243 Albany Ave., is to start at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The debate will be the second time this month that the two have squared off against one another
in Ulster County, and it will be their third debate in the region.
In each of the two previous debates and throughout his campaign, Faso has attacked Teachout for moving into the district from Brooklyn last year, two months after Gibson announced he would not run for a fourth two-year term in the House. Teachout and her husband live in Dutchess County.
In a debate at an Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast earlier this month, Faso said New York City already has 13 members on Congress. “They don’t need a 14th,” the Columbia County resident said, eliciting murmurs of displeasure, boos and comments of “low blow” from some members of the audience.
Teachout, meanwhile, has denounced Faso, a former minority leader of the state Assembly, as a career politician and super PAC
beneficiary who is more beholden to big money than to average citizens.
They have taken opposing positions on a number of issues, including how best to jump start the economy, trade agreements and working across the aisle to break the gridlock that has stymied Congress.
Teachout has called for the repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement and opposes the TransPacific Partnership, while Faso has said he supports trade agreements in order for the nation to compete in a global economy. He said he would work instead to reduce tariffs and taxes that businesses have to pay when they bring profits back into the country as a way to bring jobs back into the country.
Teachout also has called for more banking regulations, a position Faso opposes, and has come out against the large-vessel anchoring proposal for the Hudson River, a proposal Faso has remained silent on.
Faso has criticized New
York state’s proposed $15 minimum wage and has placed the blame for government corruption on its intervention into business, saying the current system that provides tax breaks to certain businesses “ordains what type of economic development should take place.”
Faso said over the weekend that he was “appalled” by a 2005 recording of Donald Trump, made public Friday, in which the GOP presidential nominee spoke in vulgar terms about women and suggested he could kiss them and grab their genital areas without consent because of his fame. But Faso said he still supports Trump as the nominee because they are on the same ballot line. He also said he doesn’t consider “support” as being an endorsement.
“All it means is that we’re running on the same ticket together, the same party line,” he said, adding he hasn’t decided whether he will vote for Trump.
In a prepared statement Teachout said Faso has “repeatedly
affirmed his support for Donald Trump despite Mr. Trump’s troubling pattern of degrading women.”
“John Faso can’t be expected to stand up for the needs of the women in this district if he can’t even stand up to Donald Trump,” she said.
The congressional candidates also will debate from 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday on WMHT-TV, and another faceoff between the two will air at 7 and 10 p.m. Oct. 24 on Time Warner Cable News.
Faso was the GOP candidate for New York governor in 2006, losing to Democrat Eliot Spitzer. Teachout ran in a Democratic gubernatorial primary against incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo in 2014, losing by a wide margin but carrying every county in the congressional district she now seeks to represent.
The 19th District comprises all of Ulster, Greene and Columbia counties, most of Dutchess County and some or all of seven other counties.
John Faso, left, and Zephyr Teachout