In March, Reps. John Faso and Chris Collins added an amendment to the House Republicans’ Obamacare repeal legislation that would have shifted Medicaid costs from New York’s counties to the state.
Democrats have been attacking the pair ever since, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other party leaders pledging to knock them – and four other New York Republicans – out of Congress.
But while just one Democratic challenger has emerged to take on Collins so far, there is already a large field of Democrats vying for the chance to challenge Faso in the 19th Congressional District. And like last year, when Faso defeated Zephyr Teachout in the general election, next year’s contest is drawing national attention and could be one of the most expensive races in the country.
Here’s a rundown of the eight Democrats in the race – and why they’re running.
David Clegg – Clegg, the most recent candidate to throw a hat in the ring, is a longtime attorney, a recently ordained Methodist deacon, and the chair of the Ulster County Human Rights Commission. Unlike Teachout, Clegg has spent the majority of his life in the Hudson Valley district, in Ulster and Woodstock. He opposes the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s health care legislation that has stalled in Washington.
Antonio Delgado – Delgado’s campaign also emphasizes his opposition to the AHCA, as well as calling for stricter campaign financing rules and job creation. The Rhinebeck attorney has raised around $650,000 in campaign finance funds, outpacing Faso, who took in $612,000 in the first six months of the year.
Brian Flynn – Flynn is a small business owner and entrepreneur. Flynn has criticized the “Muslim ban” and the AHCA, while calling for single-payer health care. He also has focused on terrorism since his brother was killed in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. To date he has raised more than $750,000 in campaign funds.
Gareth Rhodes – Rhodes is a former Cuomo press aide who was born and raised in the 19th District. His campaign focuses on job growth, protecting Obamacare and pursuing more immigrant-friendly policies. He has also garnered support from alums of the Obama and Cuomo administrations.
Sue Sullivan – Sullivan is the president and CEO of ISER Consulting and has also worked as a hospital executive. She plans to work towards expanding affordable healthcare, protecting abortion rights from the administration of President Donald Trump.
Jeffrey Beals – Now a teacher, Beals has had a career in foreign policy, beginning as a CIA intelligence officer and later became a diplomat in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Woodstock resident also played a role in drafting Iraq’s constitution.
Pat Ryan – Ryan is a West Point-trained Army intelligence officer who served two tours in Iraq. He now works as a technology entrepreneur and is working on improving cyber security.
Steven Brisee – Brisee is a language and behavior compliance analytics expert. Among his top issues are the protection of gun rights, the legalization and taxation of marijuana, and Social Security reform. He has raised around $6,500.