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Audio Feature: Hudson Valley Congressional Report

Apr 10, 2022 11:00 pm

Here is this week's Hudson Valley Congressional Report from WGXC, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives of the Hudson Valley in Congress and the candidates who want to replace them. Current Democrat Reps. Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, and Sean Maloney vote with the positions of President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to the fivethirtyeight.com website. Republican Elise Stefanik voted with Biden's positions 18 percent of the time. Click here to listen to this report.

Maury Thompson reports in the Post Star that on April 4 Ezra Watson dropped his Democrat election bid for the 21st Congressional District after failing to collect enough signatures on nominating petitions to get on the ballot. That leaves two Democrats attempting to unseat Republican Elise Stefanik. Another Democrat, Bridie Farrell, dropped out of the race in February. But Watson said he will attempt to run in the general election as an independent. “I have had Republicans that wanted to sign my (Democratic) nominating petitions — strange enough,” he said in a telephone interview on April 4. “It’s the way I’m going to proceed.” That made the Stefanik camp happy. “We welcome self-declared socialist Ezra Watson to the race as an independent,” said Alex Degrasse, senior adviser to Stefanik. But it will be harder for Watson. Just 1,250 valid signatures of members of the party are required to get on the primary ballot, but to run as an independent, 3,500 valid signatures are required. Meanwhile in the 19th Congressional District, MidHudson News reports that Rep. Antonio Delgado filed petitions with 11,131 signatures on April 4, to run for re-election. Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is also running in that election.

MidHudson News is reporting Colin Schmitt, the Republican and Conservative candidate for New York’s 18th Congressional District, April 4, filed designating petitions with the State Board of Elections. He will face incumbent Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney in the November election. Schmitt filed 6,188 signatures, five times the required number, for a spot on the Republican ballot line. He submitted 1,445 signatures, three times the required number, for Conservative Party access. He currently serves as a state assemblymember representing portions of Orange and Rockland counties. The new 18th Congressional District, if it withstands a court challenge, will represent portions of Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Putnam, and Westchester counties The State Board of Elections has declared that the March 31 order of the State Supreme Court, which determined the 2022 Congressional, Senate and Assembly lines to be unconstitutional, has been stayed pending appeal. That means the filing period for candidate petitions will remain in place, from April 4 to April 7. Plus, all other deadlines set by law are still in effect pending further court action. Schmitt vowed to fight for residents of the Hudson Valley if elected to the House of Representatives. Read the full story at MidHudsonNews [dot] com.

Kate Lisa is reporting for State of Politics the state's upcoming primary elections will proceed as scheduled, an appellate judge ruled April 8. In addition, the maps defining new congressional, Senate and Assembly districts will stay in place for the next several weeks until the next phase of the legal challenge to the state's redistricting process is adjudicated. State Supreme Court Appellate Division Justice Stephen Lindley Friday, issued a stay to allow New York candidates to continue to canvas, keeping the current general primary election scheduled for June 28. The state Board of Elections deadline for filing petitions is April 11. A judge with the Fourth Department of the state's Appellate Division is expected to issue a decision on the appeal on April 20. Steuben County Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister on March 31, struck down the new maps drawn by the Legislature after finding that lawmakers failed to comply with the state Constitution and amendments that established the Independent Redistricting Commission in 2014. The Legislature and state Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment could immediately start redrawing the new elective district maps, or take no action before then, and possibly be at the mercy of maps crafted by a neutral expert chosen by McAllister if the defendants lose their Court of Appeals challenge this month. Former congressperson John Faso has accused Democrats of gerrymandering and advocated for the maps to be overturned since they were first drafted in February. “We are pleased with the decision today, partially lifting the stay," Faso said in a statement April 8. "This will allow Judge McAllister to appoint a special master to redraw the congressional districts in a fair and nonpartisan way, as called for in the New York Constitution. ...Ultimately, the decision will rest with the NYS Court of Appeals, but we’re encouraged that the direct language in the Constitution prohibiting partisan gerrymandering will guide their ruling.” Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.

MidHudson News reports that on April 8 Rep. Antonio Delgado signed on to a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking to prioritize legislation to suspend the gas tax. “As New Yorkers continue to feel the strain of higher prices at the pump and on their home heating bills, we must use every tool available to lower these costs,” said Delgado. “That’s why I am calling on Congress to immediately consider legislation to suspend the federal gas tax and take other steps to lower energy prices.” The same day, New York state announced a gas tax holiday beginning this summer. a href="https://midhudsonnews.com/2022/04/09/delgado-calls-for-immediate-suspension-of-federal-gas-tax/">Read more about this story at MidHudson News.

Kevin Frey reports at Spectrum News about the earmarks Hudson Valley members of Congress put into the $1.5 trillion federal budget for local projects. Rep. Paul Tonko, who represents the 20th Congressional District, crowed about one of the pork projects he secured for the Capital Region. “Three million in Cohoes for their reservoir floating solar project. I think that will be an example for the country,” Tonko said. He also mentioned the, "$450 million for ReConnect rural broadband, $382 million for the Federal Communications Commission, and funding for the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth—established under my Access Broadband Act.” Delgado crowed about $829,594 for broadband projects in the Towns of Ghent, Canaan, New Lebanon, and Austerlitz and $82,000 for the Village of Philmont Fire Station. And he also mentioned $75,000 for the Greater Cobleskill Community Center in Schoharie County. Republican Elise Stefanik attempted to brag about projects she got funding, but she voted against the budget, so she won't get credit here. Read more about this story at Spectrum News.

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