The race to represent the newly-drawn 19th Congressional district, which includes Ulster, Dutchess, Greene and Columbia counties, returns Chris Gibson to Washington - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Chris Gibson's supporters gathered last night in Valatie at the Winding Brook Country Club. There were nervous moments, as a recent Siena poll had challenger Kingston Attorney Julian Schreibman closing the gap: trailing the Congressman by just 5 points...
After the majority of returns were in, it was apparent that Gibson had taken every county in the new district except for two: Sullivan and Ulster. Julian Schreibman had gathered in Kingston with his supporters. Minutes stretched into hours. Back in Valatie, Gibson remained calm and focused as he walked thru the room, talking to people one-on-one… the crowd on edge waiting for an official announcement. Gibson told reporters he was anxious to get back to Washington to help the effort to get the Farm Bill passed.
The Kinderhook Republican says he is proud of his record as a bipartisan problem solver. He says the newly drawn 19th district, carved from areas in the mid-Hudson Valley he previously represented, plus Ulster County and areas of the Catskills that were had been represented by retiring Congressman Maurice Hinchey, was not difficult to acclimate to.
The 19th District contains about 11,000 more enrolled Democrats than Republicans. This morning by telephone, Gibson admitted he learned a lot by campaigning in a new area.
Gibson delivered his victory speech around 12:20 this morning, minutes after Schreibman had called to concede. About a half hour later, Schreibman issued a statement congratulating Gibson, quote "While we have differed on many issues, he has served with honor during his time in Congress." Schreibman said he planned to spend more time with his family. He could not be reached for comment in time for broadcast.