Republican Kyle Van De Water is throwing his hat back into the political ring early with hopes to flip the 19th District.
Van De Water, 41, of Millbrook, is the first person to announce he will run against U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, in 2022. Delgado was elected to a second term last November with 192,100 votes to Van De Water’s 151,475.
Delgado’s campaign in 2020 raised $5.9 million compared to Van De Water’s $153,900 effort.
“I care far too much about this district to sit on the sidelines,” Van De Water said in a statement Tuesday. “We were so close last time and the race was too close to call for weeks despite being outspent 25-1.”
A major in the U.S. Army, Van De Water went on active duty in 2006 and completed one tour in Afghanistan. He served as a judicial advocate in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Van De Water was discharged in 2014 and remains in the U.S. Army Reserves.
He is a former Millbrook village trustee.
“With your help, I will have the resources this cycle to deliver that message to those I could not personally meet in the last election,” Van De Water published in a post on Facebook and Twitter to announce his candidacy. “I am excited to demonstrate that I am the right person for the job and to once again earn your votes. We are going to win!!!”
The 19th District encompasses all of Columbia and Greene, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties, and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer counties.
The fate of the 19th District’s boundaries and state’s congressional delegation is uncertain as New York is slated to lose one congressional seat following the completion of the latest U.S. Census counts.
“While I don’t yet know how the district will look, I do know that I care far too much about this district to sit on the sidelines, no matter the odds,” Van De Water said. “It would be politically expedient to wait and see how the redistricting process shapes the district, but I am not a politician. I am not doing this for myself, I am doing this for the people of NY-19 (and perhaps some from NY-18 or NY-20 as well).”
Delgado’s campaign highlighted the congressman’s accomplishments since he was elected in 2018, flipping the swing district blue for the first time since 2011 in a 4% lead over Republican U.S. Rep. John Faso, of Kinderhook.
“As promised, Antonio Delgado has fought for our region day in and day out and achieved meaningful results,” according to a statement from the Delgado for Congress Campaign on Tuesday. “He has held 60 town halls and crisscrossed all 11 counties in our upstate district many times over. He has had 12 bills signed into law under Democratic and Republican administrations and secured over $400 million in direct support for our counties, towns, and villages. He looks forward to continuing that work every single day.”
Candidates running in 2022 cannot start petitioning or gathering signatures until after Jan. 1, according to the state Board of Elections. Petitions must be filed in the spring before the June primary. The date has not been set.
Van De Water is hopeful he will be victorious next November by starting to campaign earlier after receiving the support of 150,000 voters with a significantly less expensive 2020 campaign than Delgado’s.
“In the face of great odds, as a first-time candidate in the midst of a global pandemic and despite being outspent by a historic 25-1 margin, I earned the support of over 150,000 people,” Van De Water said in his initial social media post. “For weeks the race was too close to call and the margin on Election Day was miniscule. Why? Because we had the better message.”
Van De Water’s message and platform in running for the 19th District has remained unchanged.
“I am going to fight every day to lower taxes, create jobs, keep your families and communities safe, improve the education system and bring broadband and better cell service to the district,” he said.
A graduate of Albany Law School, Van De Water is a trial and litigation attorney with Corbally, Gartland & Rappleyea in Poughkeepsie.
Kyle and his wife, Melissa Van De Water, have four children: Middle school-aged triplets Thomas, Lincoln and Annabelle; and 7-year-old Levi.
For information about public events or Van De Water’s campaign, visit kyle4ny.com.