Constituents come first, Delgado says
Incoming congressman says health care, infrastructure, education and small businesses are among his priorities
U.S. Rep.-elect Antonio Delgado said Friday that he remains committed to being the best advocate possible for residents of New York’s 19th Congressional District and plans to work with people who can help him best balance the demands of being available to constituents at home and handling the workload in Washington.
Delgado spoke during a conference call with local media outlets. It was the first interview the Rhinebeck Democrat gave since defeating U.S. Rep. John Faso, RKinderhook, on Tuesday.
Delgado had 132,001 votes to Faso’s 124,408, with all 619 precincts reporting in the 11-county district, according to the state Board of Elections.
Delgado said he understands there is a lot of work to be done in the district and in Washington. He said he already had been in
touch with Faso’s office to discuss the transition between now and when he takes office in January.
“We feel good about the level of cooperation,” Delgado said.
He said his top priorities will be having offices across the district, holding town hall-style events and providing services to constituents. He also plans to focus on issues that matter to him, including health care, infrastructure and education.
Delgado said he would like to be appointed to the House Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture, and Education and the Workforce committees when he takes office.
“All three of those, to me, are the kinds of areas of concerns that speak to the needs of this district,” Delgado said.
For instance, he said he would advocate for the growth of small businesses through the expansion of broadband and cellular services in rural areas. He also said there are jobs that are
not being filled because the available workforce does not have the right education. He said he wants to ensure young people have the right skills to find meaningful work.
Delgado also said he has tried to be transparent throughout the campaign and will continue to be so. He said he is committed to having his congressional calendar available on his website and to make sure people know how to get a hold of him and his staff. He also said he wants to work with former U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, the Republican who preceded Faso. Delgado said Gibson had offices across the district and held town halls while in office, which he balanced with his work at the Capitol.
New York’ 19th Congressional District comprises all of Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Sullivan, Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego counties; most of Dutchess County; parts of Rensselaer and Montgomery counties; and a small section of Broome County.
On other topics, Delgado said he has not pledged his support to anyone seeking to be the next speaker of
the House and that no one should be counting on his support. He said he bases all his decisions on facts and being informed.
“For me, it’s important to understand all the dynamics once I’m in D.C.,” he said.
Delgado also said the House needs to pass bipartisan legislation to protect the work of special counsel Robert Mueller, “and that needs to happen now.”
Mueller is investigating whether there was coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, and protecting him has taken on new urgency for Mueller’s supporters with the appointment of an acting U.S. attorney general who has openly criticized the investigation.
Delgado also said he is focused on making sure the way his office interacts with the president or any other leader is grounded in a commitment to the truth, a commitment that no one is above the law, a commitment to fairness and due process, and a commitment to making sure the interests of the American public and their constituents are put first.
Antonio Delgado talks to reporters after an Oct. 23 candidates’ debate at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, N.Y.