Letters to the Editor - Millerton News - 6-21-18

Narrowing the field

Dear Neighbor,

The 19th Congressional District Democratic Primary is Tuesday, June 26, and we encourage all registered Democrats to participate in choosing our Democratic nominee. The 19th is fortunate to have seven highly qualified, hardworking and energetic candidates vying for the spot on the November ballot, opposing John Faso, the incumbent Republican.

We are writing as members of Oblong Valley Indivisible. Over the last nine months we have held interviews with each of the candidates and found all of them to be strong proponents of progressive Democratic polices and principles. All are intelligent and deeply engaged with the political circumstances. We believe every one would make a fine member of Congress and an excellent representative of our district. We will strongly support whoever wins on June 26. 

However, there are differences between them that we believe make some better than others as candidates in the fall election. 

In order to share our collective considered thoughts regarding the candidates with others, our group conducted a poll to determine which one or ones we might recommend or endorse. We used the Ranked-choice voting method to poll our members. The results revealed two leaders: Pat Ryan and Gareth Rhodes.

Pat Ryan is from a Kingston family of many generations. He is the son of a school teacher and a small businessman. He graduated from West Point and served two tours in Iraq. He has strong progressive views, favors universal healthcare and strong environmental protection and is an advocate for a humane immigration policy.

Ryan is knowledgeable about, and holds strong positions regarding, technology and privacy. He would curtail the ability of private companies to collect personal data. He takes the position that people should control their own data. He is also a supporter of net neutrality.

His opinions on gun safety make a stark contrast to those of John Faso. While this is true for all of the candidates, Ryan is able to present his ideas from the point of view of a veteran. People respond well to his down-to-earth demeanor. We believe Pat Ryan’s background in both the military and business give him credibility across a wide swath of the district.

Gareth Rhodes was second in our polling. He grew up on a farm in Esopus, N.Y., and attended CUNY. He’s worked in New York state government, where he supported efforts to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, pass marriage equality and ban fracking,

 His direct approach to campaigning is exemplified by his journey to visit all 163 towns in the 19th Congressional District in a 1972 Winnebago. This outreach to the far corners of the district should be an effective foundation for a fall campaign.

Rhodes has received the endorsement of the Communication Workers of America Local 1120. “Gareth’s working class and deep local roots, record of public service and government experience, and shoe-leather approach to campaigning make him the most electable candidate.” (Frank Fauci Jr., president, CWA, Local 1120)

Chris Regan, Member

Oblong Valley Indivisible 



Checklist for the primary

The 10 Best things about Gareth Rhodes: 

10. He is running in the Democratic Primary on June 26 for U.S. Congressional District 19 House seat.

9. He sent himself through college with Pell Grants and state aid.

8. The contributions to his campaign are small ones. No PACs.

7. He understands the unheard needs of the working class as he    grew up in a working class family. He will be their voice.

6. He is endorsed by the Communication Workers of America, Local 1120, the Teamsters, Local 455 and 456, The New York Times, and has received a recommendation from Moms Demand Action as a gun sense candidate.

5. He is a listener. He is a listener.  He is an active listener.

4. He is a doer not just a talker.

3. He visited 163 towns and cities in our district and is now         having Town Hall in all 11 counties to listen again to what we have to say before the June 26th Primary

2. He will beat John Faso and take that House seat.

1. He will beat John Faso!

 Please vote for him on June 26.

Joan Binzen