Zephyr Teachout, the noted progressive who mounted a serious challenge to Andrew Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary, announced Monday she will seek the Democratic line for the 19th Congressional District seat.
“Throughout my career, I’ve never been afraid to stand up for ordinary citizens whose voices are drowned out by special interests, big corporations, and powerful insiders. I’m running for Congress to give people their voices back so together we can address the real concerns facing our communities,” said Teachout in her announcement statement. The statement went on to say that a formal kickoff event will be held in the spring and she’ll spend the next few months “organizing her campaign team and traveling throughout the district to meet people and listening to their stories, ideas, and priorities.”
Teachout, a Fordham University law professor and author who resides in the eastern Dutchess community of Dover Plains, carried the 19th against Cuomo two years ago. Her entry into the race brings a big name to the Democratic side of things; Ulster County Executive Mike Hein was widely expected to run, but demurred, saying he wanted to continue his work as executive, as well as remain close to his family. Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach had, after Hein’s departure, expressed interest, but said Monday he would not run. Teachout had recently received the support of a “consensus” of Democratic Party chairs in the 11-county 19th Congressional District.
On the Republican side, a multi-hopeful race seems to have narrowed to an upcoming primary fight between former state assemblyman John Faso and Millbrook businessman Andrew Heaney. Congressional primaries are scheduled for June 28. The incumbent, U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, is retiring and mulling a possible run for statewide office.
With additional reporting by Hugh Reynolds.