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Delgado unseats Faso in 19th Congressional District

Delgado unseats Faso in 19th Congressional District

He called for unity during his victory speech on Tuesday
Delgado unseats Faso in 19th Congressional District
Antonio Delgado speaks to supporters in Kingston after defeating John Faso.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

As Antonio Delgado took the stage at the Senate Garage in Kingston to declare victory in the race for 19th Congressional District, he opened with just three words.

“This is amazing,” Delgado told the crowd.

Delgado, a Schenectady native, was victorious over Republican incumbent John Faso of Kinderhook, winning by nearly three points. Wednesday morning tallies gave Delgado 132,001 votes, or 49.26% to Faso's 124,408 votes, 46.42%.

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Delgado prevented Faso from winning a second term and contributed to the shift of control in the House of Representatives from Republican to Democrat.

With the victory on Tuesday, Delgado became the first black member of Congress to represent the Hudson Valley district.

It was a race that was expected to be a close one. Faso had led Delgado by a single percentage point, according to an Oct. 22 Spectrum News/Siena College poll.

Photos: Scenes from Delgado's big Election Night victory party, Nov. 6, 2018

With all of the 619 election districts reporting, unofficial results saw Delgado beat Faso 132,001 votes to 124,408 votes on Tuesday.

Faso conceded the race before Delgado took the stage in Kingston. Delgado said Faso called him and noted his opponent “was very gracious.”

Results

  • Delgado (D): 132,001 - 49.26%
  • Faso (R): 124.408 - 46.42%
  • Greenfield (G): 4,037 1.51%
  • Neal (F): 2,619 0.98%
  • Blank: 4,745 1.77%
  • 619 of 619 districts reporting
  • New York State Board of Elections

“I want to thank him for his service,” Delgado said.

Delgado spoke of unity during his speech. He said he understood that not everyone in the 19th Congressional District voted for him, but he must listen to all of them. Delgado also said he will only be beholden to the voters, not outside special interests or donors.

“As your congressman, you have my word that is exactly what I will do,” Delgado said.

The race between the two candidates focused around health care.

Delgado had criticized Faso for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while supporting the idea of universal coverage by giving people the choice to opt into Medicare.

Faso has previously said he opposed a public option, saying families and not the government should make decision about their health care.

Faso had also gone after Delgado for his brief hip-hop career. Conservative national political action groups spent more than $2 million on the race, with much of it focused on Delgado’s brief music career.

Photos: Scenes from Delgado's big Election Night victory party, Nov. 6, 2018

Delgado, who went by the stage name AD The Voice, released one album in 2006 called “Painfully Free.” Its lyrics contained the N-word, touched on what he saw as the moral issues surrounding capitalism and looked at the legacy of slavery.

Faso had made the argument that the lyrics contained in some of Delgado’s songs were “not consistent with the view of most of the people in our district, nor do they represent a true reflection of our nation.”

Delgado outraised and outspent Faso during the campaign by a large margin.

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Delgado raised approximately $7.9 million while spending approximately $7.2 million, according to Federal Elections Commission filings dated Oct. 17. Faso raised approximately $3.7 million while spending approximately $3.1 million.

The two candidates were two different people who came from two different backgrounds.

Faso, 66, is an attorney from rural Columbia County, spending decades in and around state politics. He ran for governor on the GOP ticket in 2006, losing to Eliot Spitzer. He also worked as an attorney/lobbyist for a high-profile New York law firm for more than a decade before winning his seat in Congress in 2016.

Delgado, 41, is an attorney who grew up in a working-class family in Schenectady. He graduated from Bishop Gibbons and became a Rhodes Scholar before attending Harvard Law School. This year was his first time running for public office.

Delgado said during his speech that they will have to fix what is broken in the country. This included the country’s health care system, addressing issues created by climate change, the education system and infrastructure.

They were issues he said the country needs to come together to address.

“And no matter our political differences, I will always serve with integrity, accountability, responsibility and a whole lotta love,” Delgado said.

Photos: Scenes from Delgado's big Election Night victory party, Nov. 6, 2018

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