FIRED UP TO FIRE FASO
Tough week in the USA. I almost wish we/they had a team in the World Cup so we could be knocked out in the first round and the rest of the world would actually pity us. (Like we all pity Germany now, right? OK, so maybe scratch that…)
So, taking good news where we can, I was genuinely thrilled to vote on Tuesday June 26 in the Democratic Primary here in my home district of NY19. I was equally delighted (though not surprised) to see that the turn-out represented a full 25% of active registered Democrats – more than double the primary of two years ago. This reflects both the general determination amongst Dems to help redirect this country back towards its better principles and values; and also our highly competitive local race, which fielded no less than seven candidates, six of whom would have made (IMHO) a fine Congressman.
The flip side of all this is that our newly nominated Democratic Candidate, Antonio Delgado, got the nod on less than 8,000 votes in a District where he’s probably going to need around 200,000 in total to fire the odious Trumptilian John Faso. To say he has his work cut out for him is no understatement.
I believe he’s up to the challenge. I’ve met Antonio a couple of times; he’s an incredibly smart, warm, personable character, very calm and composed, almost unbelievably quick on his feet when it comes to debates and conversation. He’s a working class person of color who made it to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, and had a brief career in hip-hop in LA before becoming a litigating attorney in NY, then putting that on hold to run for office; all in all, that’s a pretty wide and impressive resumé. He’s married to the lovely Lacey, from Woodstock, who has her own fascinating life story.
Antonio Delgado was first to declare his candidacy; he raised the most money; he had the most signatures on his petition; ultimately, he garnered the most votes. Yes it was not that much more than the two candidates from Kingston (one senses that Pat Ryan and Gareth Rhodes somewhat split that city’s vote); it wasn’t even twice as many as the Woodstock Day School teacher Jeff Beals, who purposefully raised not even a tenth of that amount by running on a Sanders-ite anti-corporate platform. At the end of the day, Delgado’s share, 22% of just 25% of Democratic voters, was enough to get the job done; that’s the way, for better or worse, the system works.
Antonio’s fund-raising skills will be reluctantly necessary going forwards, in a District where Republican PACs are going to pour many millions of dollars towards propping up a highly unsafe seat. As important will be his magnetic charm, his ability to think on his feet, and his clear compassion and dedication to an American dream that must be revived before it recedes completely under this terrifying Trump administration. As per the six “losing” candidates – every one of whom was a winner in their own way, not least by raising attention to our District and its issues from within and without – I vow my unequivocal support. Congratulations Antonio, and here’s to democracy.