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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Sep 17, 2022 2:00 am

Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 19th, 20th, and 21st Congressional seats in New York. Current Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko, from the 20th District, votes with the positions of President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to the fivethirtyeight.com website. Republican Elise Stefanik, currently representing the 21st District, votes with Biden's positions 19.3 percent of the time. Democrat Pat Ryan just began represented the 19th District, and has yet to be included in the rankings. Click here to listen to this report.

Mid-Hudson News is reporting that Congressman-elect and outgoing Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan has done an about-face and endorsed former state Senator Jen Metzger for the Democratic nomination to succeed him. On September 6 Ryan announced he would not endorse a candidate to succeed him, saying the county Democratic Committee would choose the best person to run. “We’ll leave that to the folks wiser than me — the voters and residents of the county, to decide who’s next...," Ryan said at the time. Three Democrats are in the running for the party endorsement, which will be decided at the party convention on September 17. The person chosen will effectively be the next county executive since no Republican has entered the race. The other two Democrats interested in filling the position are County Comptroller March Gallagher and Deputy County Executive Marc Rider. In the September 10 announcement Ryan said, “I proudly endorse Jen Metzger for Ulster County executive because I know she will build upon the many successes that we have had here in Ulster County. Jen is a person of integrity, who brings great compassion to understanding the needs of the community. She has the experience and the drive to deliver results.” Read more at MidHudsonNews [dot] com.

Former Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan was sworn in as the new Congressperson in New York's 19th Congressional District on Sept. 13. Ryan, a Democrat, fills the final weeks of Antonio Delgado's term, after he resigned to become New York's lieutenant governor. Ryan spoke briefly, standing next to local Reps. Paul Tonko and Sean Maloney, on the U.S. House floor after he was sworn in. Click here to download or play a short excerpt of Ryan's speech. Ryan was assigned to the Armed Services committee.

Olivia Beavers reports at Politico that Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, is challenging Republican conference chair Elise Stefanik for the number three position among GOP House leadership. “At the end of the day, the members want us to make sure that the best person can represent the conference at a time where we’re up against some of the worst policies this country’s ever seen,” Donalds added. “And we have to reverse course immediately, and I think I have a unique ability to help with that.” Stefanik previously considered trying to move up to the number two role, as House whip. Instead, she decided to remain conference chair, if she is re-elected and can beat off Donalds challenge. On Sept. 13, Stefanik released a statement that only hinted at the new competition. “I am proud to have unified the entire Republican Conference around our country in crisis message and shattered fundraising records as House GOP Conference Chair raising over $10M for candidates and committees this cycle,” Stefanik said. Donalds, who is Black, said his decision to run for the post is “not really about Elise,” but about his ability to appeal to “people who typically are not Republicans.” Donalds has bragged that he did not get the COVID-19 vaccine. Stefanik voted against certifying results of the fair 2020 presidential election. Read the full story in Politico.

Patricia R. Doxsey reports for the Daily Freeman that after being sworn in as the 19th Congressional District representative on Sept. 13, Democrat Pat Ryan named two staff members. Robert Dougherty, who was legislative director for former U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, will be Ryan’s chief of staff. Ryan will have one local office, in Kingston, headed by Kayleen Scali, who was Ryan’s chief of staff while he was Ulster County executive. Ryan’s Kingston office is at 256 Clinton Ave. Its phone number is (845) 443–2930, and his Washington, DC Office is at 1007 Longworth Building. Its phone number is (202) 225–5614. Ryan will only be the 19th Congressional District representative for a few weeks, filling in the end of Delgado's term after he resigned to become lieutenant governor. Ryan is running for the new 18th Congressional District this fall, while Democrat Josh Riley and Republican Marc Molinaro compete for the new 19th Congressional District seat. Patricia R. Doxsey reports for the Daily Freeman.

Alex Gault reports in the Post Star that Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik is one of 86 co-sponsors of the House version of a bill from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham to ban most abortions after 15 weeks nationwide. While local politicians have been promising abortion rights are safe in this state, the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act,” if passed, would override state laws and ban abortion in New York. Current New York law limits abortions for viable pregnancies up to 24 weeks of age, although allows the medical procedure later if the health of the mother or fetus is at risk. “Congresswoman Stefanik, a young mother, is pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother,” said a statement from Stefanik’s advisor Alex DeGrasse. “She strongly opposes taxpayer funding for abortions and supports the Hyde Amendment. Her constituents are proud of her long pro-life record throughout her time in Congress.” The Hyde Amendment passed in Congress in 1977, banning federal funding for abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger and can be saved with the procedure. Matt Castelli, running against Stefanik in the 21st Congressional District that will include Rensselaer County, disagrees. “Elise Stefanik has put a target on the back of every woman in NY-21 and threatens the health of millions of American women by taking away their freedoms,” he said. “She continues to demonstrate that she is willing to sell out anyone for her own benefit, willing to deprive women of the right to make decisions about their own bodies, willing to threaten the lives of women — all to advance her own career. This dangerous and unconstitutional ban makes it clear that Elise Stefanik is unfit for leadership, and wholly unfit to represent the people of NY-21.” Read more about this story in the Post Star.

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