Gazette Endorsement: Delgado has the tools to represent us well

Intellect, ability, good ideas make Schenectady native a clear choice for Congress
Delgado, center, talks to members of the Oneonta Rotary Club at the city's Fourth of July Fair.
Delgado, center, talks to members of the Oneonta Rotary Club at the city's Fourth of July Fair.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

Antonio Delgado came home to serve. To “do right by the community that raised me,” he says.

He came home to bring a new voice to government, one that supports upward mobility and affordable medical care and higher wages for those still struggling despite our growing economy. He’s on a mission to restore opportunities lost to past generations and to remove the impediments to progress placed in ordinary people’s way by special interests and entrenched politicians.

He knows families are struggling. He was there once himself.

Raised in Schenectady’s hardscrabble Hamilton Hill neighborhood, he rose above his poor background with hard work and determination to obtain his law degree from Harvard Law School and earn a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, England, given to only 32 students in the country each year.

He’s got the intelligence, the skills, the background, the charisma, the drive and the political platform to make a real difference for residents of New York and the 19th Congressional District in Congress.

Among his priorities will be restoring funds for workforce investment, finding ways to raise wages and benefits that prevent many working-class people from succeeding, and creating work programs that allow people to make the transition to the new economy.

He supports investments in clean energy technology as a way to both help the environment and create jobs.

And he supports ways to reduce medical expenses by giving Medicare the ability to negotiate with large pharmaceutical companies. He supports creating a public option to give everyone the choice of opting into Medicare.

He supports real tax reform for the middle class that generates income, which they can then reinvest in the economy.

He certainly doesn’t have all the answers.

The editorial board felt he didn’t give enough credence to the employment opportunities created by the improving economy under the Trump administration. And if he’s going to succeed in lowering energy costs and developing alternative energy sources, he’s going to have to ramp up his expertise on the flaws of the existing power distribution grid.

As a rookie congressman, Delgado will face plenty of challenges, including having to zero in on the specific needs of his new constituents in this rural district and then work hard to make it a top priority to work for all of them.

He’ll have to make the transition from campaign pledges to actual legislation, something that’s not very easy. But he does have a reputation throughout his schooling and career for working cooperatively with others, which should help him fare well in a divisive political environment.

He also pledges to be more transparent and to hold regular town hall meetings throughout his district.

His opponent, Republican incumbent John Faso, hasn’t made as much of his first two years in Congress as we had hoped.

His explanations for his vote on the Republican’s health care bill have been fuzzy.

His vote against the GOP tax bill that favors the wealthy seemed more designed to help him get votes in a close race than actual commitment, and he didn’t have any answers as to how to close the budget gap created by the tax bill. We also criticized him in the past for hiding from his constituents by being unwilling to hold town hall meetings.

The editorial board was impressed with his detailed grasp of agricultural issues and the plight of the small farmer, an important focus in this district.

And while he could be admired for wanting to strong-arm the state into ridding itself of harmful policies such as the state scaffolding law and the county share of state Medicaid costs, he also could be faulted for seeking to punish his own state for matters that are decided at the state level.

Voters in the 19th Congressional District have an opportunity to elect one of their own, one who understands their struggles and who has demonstrated a commitment to helping them overcome them.

For Antonio Delgado, the road from Hamilton Hill should lead him to Capitol Hill.

We encourage voters to support Antonio Delgado for Congress on Tuesday.

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