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Audio Feature: Hudson Valley Congressional Report

May 15, 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.

Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman that Democratic Chairwoman Kelleigh McKenzie said the committee to fill vacancies for the 19th Congressional District filed a “certificate of substitution” for Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan with the state Board of Elections on May 9. The move will allow Ryan to replace Rep. Antonio Delgado on the ballot for the NY-19 Congressional District. Delgado was just named Lieutenant Governor by Gov. Kathy Hochul, but has not officially resigned, and has not said exactly when he will leave that office. Delgado, a Democrat, was going to face Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro this November. Ryan’s filing gives him the right to replace Delgado on the ballot. Daniel Torres, a spokesperson for the Democrat said, “Today papers were filed in Albany as part of a technical procedure to ensure that County Executive Ryan has as many options as possible as he continues to discuss with his family and neighbors about a potential candidacy for Congress.” Torres also said Ryan “has received support from residents all over upstate New York who are inspired by his record of service and who are fearful of Washington extremism taking over this seat.” Ryan is expected to announce a decision later this week. Saugerties-based state Senator Michelle Hinchey said last week that she is not running for the Congressional seat, but for re-election. What the 19th Congressional District is remains up in the air, as a court threw out redistricting maps Democrats in Albany drew as gerrymandered. Read more about this story at the Daily Freeman.

Joshua Solomon in the Times Union asks when Rep. Antonio Delgado will resign and become lieutenant governor. He does not get an answer. Gov. Kathy Hochul tapped the current 19th Congressional District representative as her second-in-command May 3, saying she would announce the exact date he would assume the role "in the near future," adding it would be "sometime this month." If Delgado resigns now, or later in June, it would trigger a special election to fill the seat. But if Delgado resigns between May 25 to June 4, that special election could be held on the same day as the state's congressional and state Senate primaries, Aug. 23. "If there was a plan, say it," said Marc Molinaro, the Republican seeking the Congressional seat. "We assume their plan is to maximize their political benefit.... I think it's in the best interest of all us to have a special election to fill the seat." Actually, it would be in the best interest of taxpayers to have the elections on the same day, and the story says unnamed political observers believe Republicans prefer lower voter turnout, which would happen with a one-race, special election. Democrat Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan has hinted he will run to fill Delgado's seat. Delgado is not commenting, nor is his staff, and Hochul's office says they are "working with the lieutenant governor-designate's team on the transition." Further complicating the election to replace Delgado, is that no one know's where the district will represent, as the redistricting process is still tied up in court after the Democrats gerrymandered maps were thrown out. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

The Times Union is reporting U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko on May 6 stopped by the Port of Albany to promote a plan to make the Capital Region into a hub of offshore wind development. The federal lawmakers announced a bill that would deploy offshore wind energy, create 77,000 jobs and cut carbon emissions. The Restoring Offshore Wind Opportunities Act would reverse a Trump-era ban on offshore wind leasing. Gillibrand said in a news release the legislation would "open the gates to innovation in clean energy." President Joe Biden has set the goal to generate 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.  In January, the administration also announced it would auction off leases to an area of ocean called the New York Bight off the coasts of New Jersey and New York. State lobbying records show that General Electric Co. has recently been meeting with state and local officials about building an offshore wind manufacturing facility in the region. Read the full story in the Times Union.