Con­stituents come first, Del­gado says

In­com­ing con­gress­man says health care, in­fra­struc­ture, ed­u­ca­tion and small busi­nesses are among his pri­or­i­ties

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

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.

TA­NIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN FILE

An­to­nio Del­gado talks to re­porters af­ter an Oct. 23 can­di­dates’ de­bate at the Wood­stock Play­house in Wood­stock, N.Y.

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