Politics

New Member: Republican John Faso Wins New York’s 19th District

The district was a key to Democrats looking to win back the House

Republican John Faso will replace Rep. Chris Gibson's in New York's 19th District. (Photo courtesy John Faso Facebook page)

Republican John J. Faso will defeat Democrat Zephyr Teachout in New York’s 19th District, the Associated Press projects. 

Faso led Teachout 52 percent to 48 percent with 68 percent of precincts reporting.

[Election Results 2016]

Faso will replace GOP Rep. Chris Gibson, who is retiring after three terms. 

The contest was seen as key for Democrats looking to make inroads in the House. Coming into Election Day, the race was rated a Tossup by The Rothenberg & Gonzalez Political Report/Roll Call.

New York’s 19th District is located in central New York, and includes parts of the Catskill Mountains, the Hudson River Valley and farmland. Dairy farming is prominent in the district, so agriculture is a top industry, along with tourism and health care.

[Faso and Teachout in Close House Race in New York]

The district received national attention this year when Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Teachout in the Democratic primary during his run for president. Teachout also benefited from strong name recognition due to a previous ill-fated primary bid against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014.

Republicans attacked her for moving to the district just to run for Congress. 

[NRCC Ad Mocks ‘Zany Professor’ Teachout in Tossup House Race]

Faso, the member-elect, is a former state legislator. He was elected to the New York Assembly in 1987, where he served for 16 years, becoming minority leader. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006, losing to Democrat Eliot Spitzer. He then worked as a lobbyist in Albany, the state capital.

[New York Could Hold Key to Democratic Majority in House]

Faso says a top goal will be improving Medicaid. He also expects to focus on fiscal issues, veterans affairs, and farming.

He hopes to get a spot on the Ways and Means Committee, and is also interested in the Veterans’ Affairs and Agriculture committees. 

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter @bridgetbhc.

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