Faso, Teachout win primaries; will face off in fall for 19th Congressional District seat


Republican John Faso and Democrat Zephyr Teachout

Racking up an almost an 5-1 margin over her underfunded and obscure primary opponent, Democrat Zephyr Teachout of Dutchess County will face former assembly Republican leader John Faso of Columbia County in the November elections for congress in the 19th Congressional District.

Teachout, who took returns at the Senate Garage in Kingston on Tuesday, ran well ahead of polls that had shown her beating Columbia County farmer Will Yandik by almost 40 points.

Unofficial Ulster returns from the county board of elections showed Teachout leading 4,964 (83 percent) to 1,012 with 76 of 79 districts reporting.


The race between Republicans Faso and Andrew Heaney of Millbrook was much closer, with Faso polling 1,363 (53 percent) to Heaney’s 1,172. Polls, which Heavey had challenged, predicted Faso a 30-point winner.

As of 11 p.m. on election night unofficial district-wide returns showed Teachout with 75 percent of the vote. Faso had tallied 66 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.

Ulster County, with over 37,000 enrollees, claims about a third of the 11-county district’s Democratic enrollment. Ulster Republicans have about 27,000 enrollees. As such, incomplete and unofficial returns showed a much stronger turnout by Democrats, 5,981 to 2,547. At 16 percent, Democratic turnout was about average for a primary, Republicans half that. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had been a strong supporter of Teachout.

Teachout, 44, is a law professor at Fordham University and lives in the Northern Dutchess Town of Clinton. She ran in a Democratic primary for governor in 2014. Faso, 63, served 16 years in the Assembly before running unsuccessfully for governor and comptroller. He lives in Kinderhook.

The 19th Congressional District is almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, with some 127,000 voters of no party. It is currently represented by Republican Chris Gibson who chose not to seek reelection to a fourth term.

Teachout will also appear on the Working Families line, Faso on the Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines.