Democrats eye Faso's congressional seat

November 12, 2017 07:19 PM

KINDERHOOK - Midterm elections are a year away. But Democrats are already lining up in the 19th Congressional District thinking they could flip the seat.

“It goes with the territory,” said Rep. John Faso, who currently represents the district. “That's just the way it is. Politics is competitive in this district.”

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Faso, a Republican, won his first term last year. He defeated Democrat Zephyr Teachout, calling the law professor from New York City a carpetbagger.

“The Democrats have a great capacity of bringing carpetbaggers into this seat. They think from NYC they should tell us who should represent us. I don't think most people in this district are going to buy that,” Faso said.

Faso says Democrats are following the same path with some of the new candidates that have no roots in the district.

“They just moved into the district from places like New Jersey and New York City,” he said.

Faso has been rated the third most vulnerable incumbent in Congress by a publication that covers Capitol Hill. He says he knows the district is competitive. Voter registration is evenly distributed between Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Plus, President Donald Trump won the district by nearly seven points.

“We know that Governor Cuomo and Nancy Pelosi want to stick a Democrat in this seat that will vote their way,” Faso said.

Faso did vote for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, another reason why it's believed he's vulnerable. But Faso says he tries to take the different opinions of his constituents and come up with the right answer for the district and state.

“Sometimes that means I'll vote with the Republicans and sometimes that means I don't,” he said.

For now, Faso says he's focused on representing the district, not on politics. He'll worry about that in 2018.


WNYT Staff

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