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NY-19 Dems Schmooze Schoharie Dems at FDR Spring Fling

Written By Timothy Knight on 6/11/18 | 6/11/18


Gareth Rhodes speaks with Fulton Supervisor
Phil Skowfoe about drilling water wells.
Story & photos by Timothy Knight

SCHOHARIE - With only weeks remaining until Democrat voters across New York's 19th congressional district choose their nominee to challenge incumbent Republican Congressman John Faso in November, four of the seven candidates vying for the nomination wooed the local party faithful at this past weekend's FDR Spring Fling event in Schoharie. 

Working the roomful of Democratic committee members, elected officials, and party supporters from within Schoharie County, candidates Brian Flynn, Erin Collier, Gareth Rhodes, and Antonio Delgado continued this primary's theme of intensive retail politics to sway every voter possible in what could be a race decided by a couple of percentage points.

Brian Flynn makes a joke about him and
Assembly candidate Aidan O'Connor while
speaking.
Conversations ranged from Mr. Delgado's past as a basketball star at Colgate to Mr. Rhodes' time spent as a well driller before college as the candidates maneuvered from table to table. Despite some attendees already favoring one candidate or the other, all contenders were given an open hearing as they jockeyed for support only 18 days before voters decide. 

Afforded an opportunity to each address the assembled crowd, all four candidates present tried to make the case for why they were the best choice to challenge Mr. Faso in the fall, with each candidate touching on their unique connections to the district and how their particular brand of experience would result in turning NY-19 blue in November.

Stressing that he is, "The only candidate who has created hundreds of good paying jobs," Mr. Flynn talked about creating a "plan for the American worker." A resident of the Hunter-Tannersville School District, where his daughter attends class, Mr. Flynn emphasized his bonafides by quipping "I come to you as a lifelong progressive Democrat."
Erin Collier touched on a lot of personal notes
during her speech, including her family's role as
the namesakes of Colliersville in Otsego County.

Ms. Collier, who was the last of the seven candidates to enter the congressional race, and the only woman running for the nomination, touched on her family's long roots in Cooperstown as residents and farmers. An ag economist who worked in the Obama Administration, Ms. Collier dinged national Republicans for not helping struggling farmers enough before urging the crowd that, "We need to do better."

Believing that, "We can't afford to lose this seat," Mr. Rhodes implored the room to take a look at recent Democratic defeats in the district and suggested that a new tactic was necessary to compete, which he touted with his own campaign tour to visit Democrats in all 163 towns that make up NY-19. A former Cuomo alum, Mr. Rhodes stated "[I'm] the only candidate in this district with local union endorsement."

Antonio Delgado makes a point about income
inequality while stumping for support Friday.
Mr. Delgado, who had previously attended and spoken to Schoharie Democrats at last year's FDR Dinner, rounded out the quartet of speeches with an impassioned appeal to restore the dream of obtaining upward mobility in America, much like he had been able to growing up as the son of GE employees who ended up attending Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Although a representative of Jeff Beals did speak to the crowd, neither Mr. Beals nor his opponents Dave Clegg and Pat Ryan attended the annual Democrat shin dig hosted by the Schoharie County Democratic Committee at the Quality Inn Schoharie.

Democrats will head to the polls to select their nominee on Tuesday, June 26th.

Editor's Note - In the coming weeks, The Mountain Eagle will be featuring interviews with all seven candidates running to challenge Congressman Faso in the fall. 
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