CATSKILL — Congressman-elect Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck visited the town of Catskill to thank the community and its volunteers for their support on Monday.
“We’re trying to hit as many [communities] as we can to show our appreciation and give thanks,” he said. “They put their hearts into it. I want to show how grateful I am for the opportunity they gave to me.”
Delgado is diligently preparing to begin his term in January, he said.
“I’m building my team, making sure we have what we need to serve the community at the level that the constituents need,” he said. “I’m feeling good...Everywhere we go, I keep feeling the love.”
Supporters and campaign volunteers packed Doubles II at 188 Water St. for the event held by the Greene County Democratic Committee. The event was intended to thank not only residents who canvassed for him, Delgado said, but to thank everyone who supported him.
“I’m here to serve the entire community and make sure you can have faith again in democracy and representation,” he said. “Yes, I will be in D.C., but you will feel my presence here every day. I am an extension of you.”
Delgado, who emerged victorious in a contentious battle against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. John Faso for the 19th Congressional District, emphasized the importance of running his campaign on shared values such as integrity and compassion.
“This community understands it’s not left or right, but right and wrong,” he said.
Delgado may have lost in Greene County, but he considers the volunteers’ efforts to be a success, he said.
“Now, we didn’t flip the county. I don’t rely on turning facts,” he said. “But we were up 40 percent. In my book, that’s progress.”
Greene County Democratic Party Chairwoman Doreen Davis recognized 2018 Democratic candidates for the Greene County Legislature: Joseph Kozloski and Christopher Hamilton, who were among six candidates running for four open seats in Catskill, and James Eckl, who ran against Republican incumbent Pat Linger in New Baltimore.
“Joe lost by only three votes,” she said.
Davis also recognized Judge Margaret “Peggy” Walsh, who will by appointed to the state Supreme Court and coroner candidates Bob Gaus and Joshua Lipsman.
“I think this is the first time in the history of man we’ve had candidates [for coroner],” Davis said.
“It ain’t easy being Greene,” Davis said. “We are a presence. They know it, and we know it and we aren’t going away.”
State Senate candidate Pat Strong and state Assembly candidate Aidan O’Connor Jr. of Durham were in attendance and also gave their thanks to the community.
“This is a wonderful county,” Strong said. “One day we’re going to flip it — sooner rather than later.”
O’Connor thought he would never find the same kind of fulfillment that he got from saving lives as a paramedic, he said.
“I found that fulfillment in all of you,” he said, adding that he admired the volunteers’ dedication and commitment to knock on doors in both 100 degree and 20 degree temperatures.
Although O’Connor lost a rematch against Schoharie Republican Christopher Tague for the 102nd Assembly District seat and his term on the Greene County Legislature is coming to a close, he intends to remain an active voice in the community.
“I’m not going anywhere,” O’Connor said.
Tuesday’s event was one of seven stops Delgado is making throughout the state, he said.
The newly elected congressman has paid calls in Kingston, Otsego County and Chatham. Next on Delgado’s itinerary are Sullivan, Dutchess and Schoharie counties.
Complimentary snacks and live music by Catskill’s Bigtime Dixieland Band were provided. The Democratic Committee also raised funds for the Greene County Department for the Aging’s Senior Angels Program, which assists senior citizens in need during the holiday season. The committee also held a toy drive for Community Action of Greene County.