Peo­ple over party, Faso says in vic­tory

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ariél Zangla azangla@free­manon­line.com ArielAtFree­man on Twit­ter

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.

FILE

John Faso, left, and Zephyr Tea­chout

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