In her campaign to be elected as the next congressional representative from New York’s 19th district, Zephyr Teachout now has an ally from the 18th, Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney. He officially endorsed the former gubernatorial challenger in a Friday morning event at the historic Deyo Hall in New Paltz, part of the Historic Huguenot Street properties.
Teachout first made headlines when she made a primary challenge against incumbent Andrew Cuomo for governor in 2014. She received about a third of the votes, which was enough to get noticed, although it fell well short of victory. New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers, in welcoming members of the press, reminded them that she received 82% of the primary vote in New Paltz, indicating no small amount of momentum to propel her into office. Teachout endorsed Rogers in his bid for mayor last year.
Maloney said that the 18th and 19th districts are similar in many ways, and that he’s “excited” to endorse Teachout to replace Chris Gibson, who is not seeking reelection. That’s because she “grew up in a small town, had a military dad, is a cross-country runner and understands what it will take to run for Congress in a district that covers eleven counties.” He drew parallels between Teachout and his own desire to end the “games in Washington” which make constituents feel as if they aren’t actually being represented by their representatives.
“Zephyr means a light breeze,” he said, but this person is a category five hurricane,” the congressman said. He painted a picture of her joining him in the fight to “fix what’s wrong” in the nation’s capitol. Teachout, he said, would represent “the farmer in Pawling, the pipe fitter in Cooperstown and the waitress in New Paltz” who spends her spare time helping her children with their homework or working on assignments for her own college classes. She will focus on issues like “nightmare student debt” and the concerns of young farmers, because she is a “real live person, not a phony politician.”
Teachout has issued a challenge to the other candidates for the seat in the 19th, which include Republicans John Faso, Andrew Heaney and Bob Bishop, as well as Democrat John Kehoe, to decline to accept “dark money” from so-called super-PACs. For that to succeed, she said, all the candidates would have to agree; she hasn’t gotten any responses yet, but said, “I want to give them some time to think about it.”
While she said that she thinks either of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates would be “terrific,” she has endorsed Bernie Sanders.