Supporters of Rep. Chris Gibson were happy to learn the congressman was elected to represent the new 19th Congressional District last Tuesday following a highly-publicized race. Photo by courtesy of Gibson for Congress.
November 13, 2012U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson has claimed victory over Democratic challenger Julian Schreibman in the highly-publicized 19th Congressional District race.
With 99 percent of the precincts reporting results, Gibson, currently the sitting congressman of New York's 20th District, claimed 53 percent of the votes in the newly-drawn district, compared to Schreibman's 47 percent.
The new district was redrawn over the summer to reflect New York's population shift. The candidates were vying for a district that included more Democrats and independent voters this time around. The district now stretches into Ulster and Sullivan Counties.
Even though this suggested a possible change among voting preferences, the Republican incumbent remained to be the favored of the two in many polls leading up to the election.
Addressing his supporters Tuesday night at the Winding Brook Country Club in Kinderhook, Columbia County, Gibson reminded everyone in attendance of the importance of a joint effort between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C.
Referring to the time the Clinton Administration was in the White House, when U.S. voters elected a Democratic leader and a Republican Congress, Gibson said, "Let's learn from the lessons of the past. We not only balanced the budget, but we also had a surplus." Gibson also said he will work hard for the nation's farmers as he pushes for the Farm Bill of 2012.
Job creation in the Hudson Valley, the use of the state's natural resources and energy policy and Medicaid were pressing topics for both candidates during the campaign. Each candidate ran numerous television advertisements attacking each others stance on Medicaid specifically. Schreibman attacked Gibson for supporting a budget that he said was written based on Tea Party principles and Gibson often portrayed Schreibman as a New York City lawyer who could not be trusted. In the most recent debate on October 24 at the State University of New York at Oneonta, each candidate attacked their opponent's platform once again.
Schreibman said that Gibson's vote to end Medicare, defund Planned Parenthood and to criminalize abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, countered the American people's view of women's health care.
Gibson's rebuttal brought attention to Schreibman's lack of an economic plan, saying it would result in higher taxes and a larger national deficit.
Following his re-election, Gibson said that under his leadership he will strive for Congress to balance the budget without an increase in taxes.
Accepting defeat, Schreibman offered his support and congratulations to Gibson.
"I wish him good health, energy and wisdom to represent all of us in the 19th Congressional District," Schreibman said. "While we have differed on many issues, he has served with honor during his time in Congress. It has been an incredible experience meeting so many wonderful people across the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, and I look forward to the next chapter in my life."
Gazette staff writer Roberto X. Cruz contributed to this report