Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law professor who ran against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014 for New York Governor, announced her bid for the 19th Congressional District seat of New York on Monday, Jan. 25. Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of the 18th Congressional District also announced his endorsement of Teachout on Friday, Feb. 5 at Deyo Hall in New Paltz.
Teachout had not been politically involved before her campaign against Cuomo. She ran on the grounds of a Democratic grass-roots campaign which only took small dollar donations. According to supporters, this method of campaigning portrayed her wish to move towards taking money out of politics. Although she did not win, Teachout’s candidacy was a small, yet victorious step for liberals and her supporters due to the impressive debut she made against Cuomo.
“I’m pretty sure people are fed up with what is happening in Congress and the status quo,” Teachout said. “I am here to stand up and raise the voices of people who were shut out.”
Republican Congressman Chris Gibson currently represents the 19th district of New York and is known as having the most liberal voting record for any Republican in Washington. Gibson won in 2014 as an incumbent for the seat against Sean Eldridge, husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, but is not seeking reelection this term. Talk of Gibson becoming a possible challenger to Cuomo in 2018 have been circulating in New York.
Now that Teachout has announced her plans to succeed Republican Congressman Chris Gibson for the 19th Congressional seat, many excited New Paltz citizens and officials are showing their support.
“Zephyr is a great fit for this position, she is very smart and clear-minded,” Town of New Paltz Supervisor Neil Bettez said. “She grew up on a farm and understands the issues that Hudson Valley may be facing.”
Bettez added that Teachout’s stances on economic issues, which look to level the playing field between small business and major corporations, are important for communities such as New Paltz which thrive on family-owned businesses. As a member of the Working Families Party, Bettez said that Teachout is the perfect candidate for understanding what is important to local politicians such as himself.
According to Town of New Paltz Deputy Supervisor Dan Torres, it is refreshing to see the type of willingness Teachout has to be the change that she wants to see in the government. Teachout, like Maloney, subscribes to the “no-labels mentality” for government. This is a belief that issues in Congress should be addressed not based on bi-partisan affairs, but on the issues themselves. Torres says that this is yet another reason why Teachout is the type of politician he would like to see representing the Hudson Valley.
“There is no candidate easier to support than Zephyr Teachout,” Torres said. “She fundamentally agrees with my political views as a whole. It was rather brave in my view when she ran in 2014 with such little name or recognition or money.”
Teachout said that she is very excited about the ethusiam she has been receiving from students on campuses such as SUNY New Paltz. According to Teachout, the passion young people have who are in support of issues such as leveling the economic playing field are necesscary to take on the big companies that are growing people out.
“I feel like a new poltical moment is happening on college campuses in New York,” Teachout said.
In the next edition of the Oracle we will devle deeper into Teachout’s candidacy and reasonings for running for office.