Skip to content Skip to navigation

Who replaces Chris Gibson?

Three Republicans in primary race; Dems are still looking for a candidate
by Stephen Kaye
Wed Jan 13th, 2016

Andrew Heaney, candidate for Congress

The 19th Congressional District is definitely in play in 2016.  Voters this November will be electing a new delegate to represent them in the U.S. Congress.  Chris Gibson is abiding by his promise to limit his service to three terms, so he will be bowing out at the end of this year. 

So far three Republicans are in the race.  Andrew Heaney, a new resident of Millbrook, is already running a professional looking campaign, with a handsome website and a mail program that has already reached Dutchess voters.  According to his website, he has raised over $ one million. He is not venturing much in the way of substance, but is appealing to the conservative drift generally thought necessary to attract primary voters.  Heaney is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School.  John Faso, who has been involved in political campaigns for much of his adult life, has a comparable website and name recognition among Republicans.  He has served in the NYS  Assembly where he was minority leader from 1998 to 2002.  He ran for state comptroller against Helvisi and lost by a tiny margin. He also ran against Elliott Spitzer for governor, and again lost. Both of Faso’s opponents in those races ended their careers in shame, Helvisi in jail and Spitzer in a lurid scandal. Faso has raised over $600,000.  He is a lawyer and a partner in a law firm. He is a graduate of the State University of NY Brockport and Georgetown Law School.

John Faso, one of three in the Republican primary race

A third contender is Bob Bishop, a farmer from Delaware County who counts himself as a close friend of Chris Gibson.  He offers us this sentiment on his website: “I’m a family man and farmer who knows one indisputable fact: if we don’t do something immediately to change the direction of this country, we will be the first generation to pass on an America in worse shape than the one we inherited.”

He adds by way of substance, these sentiments, echoing talk radio and the presidential debaters: 

Radical Islamic terrorists are killing innocent people abroad and here on American soil, but the only reaction from the same old tired politicians and President Obama is to strip away 2nd amendment rights from law abiding citizens. Spending is out of control, our economy is broken, and every day our nation becomes less safe and secure. 

He is the only one of the three contenders to make a statement on abortion.  He says, “On a personal level, I believe abortion should never be used as a birth control method and should never be funded by the Government.”

On the Democratic side, Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham law professor who stole a few upstate counties from Cuomo, is considering a run. She already has support from the Working Families faction. She is reported to have an apartment in the town of Dover. 

A report on Time Warner Cable news says ”Heaney has received support from a super PAC, The New York Jobs Council, which he has contributed to before formally launching his campaign. The PAC has concentrated on criticizing the candidacy of former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso….”

Ulster County Executive Mike Hein was pressed to run by party leaders, but he has formally backed out.