As Dem Congress primary nears climax, candidates tout endorsements

Mary Work, retired county surrogate court judge, announced this week she was endorsing Woodstock resident and Kingston lawyer Dave Clegg in next week’s Democratic Congressional primary.

“Dave’s not in this out of political ambition; he’s in this because he wants to bring his 37 years of experience fighting for our district to Washington to make our government start working for us, and that’s why I’m supporting him to be our next congressman,” Work said in a statement released Wednesday by the Clegg campaign. “I have known Dave for 27 years — as a trial attorney appearing in court, as a leader in the community and as a person committed to fighting for progressive ideas against powerful interests. His experience in our district working to lift people up is second to none in this primary race, and he is clearly the strongest candidate we could nominate to take on and defeat John Faso in November.”

In the statement, Clegg expressed his gratitude. “I am truly humbled to have the support of the honorable Mary Work, a distinguished retired judge whose integrity, decency, and moral courage have helped countless lives across our district. Her dedication to doing what is right is an inspiration and an example of the type of leader I wish to be in Congress.”


The late Maurice Hinchey with daughter Michelle and wife Ilene

Meanwhile, candidate Antonio Delgado announced Tuesday that he’s being endorsed by Ilene Hinchey, wife of the late congressman Maurice Hinchey, and Hinchey’s daughter, Michelle Hinchey. Former Hinchey chief of staff Dan Ahouse also endorsed Delgado.

“Antonio is a natural leader who has the strength and courage to not just defeat John Faso and be an outstanding Representative, but also to be the leader we need here at home and in Washington — someone who will bring people together to advance and protect our core democratic principles that are currently under assault in Washington,” said the three in a statement from the Delgado campaign. “Antonio has a deep personal connection to and understanding of our region and can speak to the hopes and dreams of the people who live here.”

“Maurice Hinchey was a great man and representative and I could not be more proud to earn the trust of those who knew him best,” said Delgado in the statement. “He stood up for what was right and just. He understood that this job starts and ends with the people, not special interests or what’s popular in Washington. I promise to strive every day to live up to his legacy as a fierce and principled public servant.”

Gareth Rhodes racked up a trio of union endorsements this week. The New York State Nurses’ Association, the New York Hotel Trades Council and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union all declared for Rhodes.

“Rhodes was born in Ulster County and has committed his life to the 19th District and serving the people of New York,” NYSNA chairperson Marva Wade, R.N., PAC, said in a statement. “He stands with labor and backs single-payer health care as well as safe staffing, advocates for common sense gun safety, fights for the environment and calls for greater investment in our schools.”

“In addition to Teamsters Local 445 and 456, and Communications Workers of America Local 1120, labor is coalescing around our grassroots campaign. And with their help we’re gaining incredible momentum going into the June 26 primary,” Rhodes said in a statement. Rhodes also scored a high-profile media endorsement this week: The New York Times.

In other late-breaking endorsements, the Latino Democrats of Dutchess County threw its support behind Brian Flynn. “The Latino Democrats of Dutchess County is fully supporting Brian Flynn … because he understands that we have a diverse community confronting a range of issues. His support for the needs and rights of the people of Puerto Rico is extremely important to us, as is housing, pay equity and the right to safe communities,” group president Anibal Garcia stated in a release.

“Too many people believe that the Latinx community is only concerned about immigration,” Flynn said in a statement. “While the Trump administration policies on immigration and asylum seekers are abhorrent and must be stopped, we cannot forget the importance of addressing the systemic undermining of Latinx Americans. We know that Latinas are the lowest paid on the wage scale, earning just 54 cents to the dollar. We also know that there is systemic discrimination in hiring, in housing, in education and in policing.”