People over party, Faso says in victory
Republican John Faso defeated Democrat Zephyr Teachout by a comfortable margin in the much-watched race for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat.
Faso drew 153,217 votes to Teachout’s 126,671, with all but two precincts in Greene County reporting, according to unofficial results Wednesday.
With his win, by a margin of 54.7 to 45.3 percent, Faso secures a two-year term representing the 11-county district. He’ll succeed U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, who chose not to seek a fourth term.
Gibson had endorsed Faso, a fellow resident of the Columbia County town of Kinderhook.
Teachout, who lives in Dutchess
County, carried Ulster County, 41,160-33,653, while Faso won Dutchess (25,412- 22,566), Greene (12,032-6,248) and Columbia (14,498-12,235).
The 19th Congressional District includes all of Ulster, Greene and Columbia counties, most of Dutchess and some or all of seven other counties.
“Congratulations to Zephyr Teachout on a hard-fought race that was closely watched not only by those living in the 19th Congressional District but by people all over the nation,” Faso said in a statement late Tuesday. “What we’ve heard today is that citizens are deeply concerned about our country, that they care about its future, and they want a government that works for them and gets things done. They’re tired of gridlock, games and the 24-hour spin cycle and punditry. To those people, I say, I hear you loud and clear.”
Faso said the American people want their representatives to work together to solve problems.
“They demand that we put aside our partisan impulses and work for the common good of all,” he said. “That is what I plan to do, and I will need your help and your prayers to make sure we do the right things.”
Faso said he believes the nation can change for the better and that we can leave “our children and grandchildren with a shared inheritance of prosperity, security and opportunity for all.”
Throughout the campaign, Faso repeatedly characterized Teachout as a carpetbagger whose ideas were unrealistic and out of touch with the district, while Teachout repeatedly characterized Faso as a career politician and lobbyist who is beholden to his campaign donors.
Faso, a former state Assembly minority leader, has lived in the district for decades, while Teachout, a law professor at Fordham University, moved to the 19th just before launching her campaign. She had made a name for herself among district residents, though, in her fight against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and in her unsuccessful Democratic primary challenge to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014.
Faso unsuccessfully run for governor in 2006, when he was defeated by Eliot Spitzer, and state comptroller in 2002, when he was defeated by Alan Hevesi.
“I am so incredibly proud of this campaign,” Teachout said in a statement late Tuesday. “We gave the billionaires trying to buy our elections a real run for their money — faceless men, cowards who spent $6.7 million to shut us up — but we barked back with an average contribution of $19.” She said it was because of parents, teachers, veterans, farmers and small business owners that the race was as close as it was.
“We showed them that we the people will not be dictated to, and our fight continues,” Teachout said. She said she may have lost the race, “but we’re not going away.”
Teachout said the Trans-Pacific Partnership can still be stopped, as can the AT&T merger. She also said people must organize and overturn the Citizens United law.
John Faso, left, and Zephyr Teachout