Apr 22nd - 3:54 pm
Rep. Chris Gibson’s 2014 campaign is already getting the help of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Today, the group put Gibson and ten other Republicans from across the country in its Patriot Program, an initiative aimed at helping Republicans in vulnerable districts with fundraising and strategy.
The move comes as investor and political activist Sean Eldridge explores challenging Gibson next year. Eldridge is married to Facebook co-founder and New Republic publisher Chris Hughes.
Last year, Gibson won re-election against Democrat Julian Schreibman, even after his district was dramatically altered by redistricting.
Feb 1st - 12:30 pm
Sean Eldridge, an investor and political activist, is poised to file paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential 2014 challenge to Republican Rep. Chris Gibson in NY-19, according to a source familiar with his plans.
The source said Eldridge will also file a statement of candidacy and is “seriously looking at a run” in two years.
Not long ago, Eldridge was perhaps best known for being the partner – and now husband – of co-founder Chris Hughes, with whom he lives in Shokan, Ulster County.
But in recent years, he has struck out on his own, founding a small business investment fund called Hudson River Ventures that focuses on the region’s burgeoning artisanal food and beverage industry, and also getting involved in the push for statewide campaign finance reform.
Hudson River Ventures, located in Kingston, has so far invested in the following businesses: Bread Alone (Boiceville), the Peekskill Brewery (Peekskill), RiverMarket (Tarrytown) and Hudson Chocolates (Poughkeepsie).
Last year, Eldridge created a political action committee called Protect Our Democracy, which he and Hughes seeded with $250,000 of their own money.
The PAC’s goal was to get the “big money” out of politics by pushing for a publicly funded campaign finance system.
Since Tkaczyk’s come-from-behind win, advocates have argued there is momentum and a mandate for establishing a publicly funded system. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly said he supports the idea as part of a broader campaign finance package, but he hasn’t yet put forth any legislation.
Gibson, who casts himself as a pragmatist and moderate in his right-of-center House GOP conference, is going to be difficult to beat – particularly in a non-presidential election year that won’t see the surge of Democratic turnout seen this past fall.
Although he was running in a dramatically altered – and Democrat dominated – new district last year, Gibson managed to handily defeat his Democrat opponent, attorney and former Ulster County Democratic Party Chairman Julian Schreibman.
Eldridge certainly is getting a jump on things by launching his campaign this early.
He presumably won’t have much trouble with funding. This effort is in a very nascent stage, according to my source, but Eldridge has signed up a well-connected consulting firm – SKDKnickerbocker – to assist with his campaign.
Sep 24th - 10:40 am
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released a 30-second spot this morning that’s tying Rep. Chris Gibson to Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan.
The ad comes after Gibson’s Democratic opponent in the race, Julian Schreibman, released his own ad targeting Gibson over Medicare as well (clearly this issue polls as a top concern).
In the spot, the DCCC accuses Gibson of “putting his party first” when it comes to backing the top of the ticket’s platform.
“Chris Gibson and Mitt Romney don’t seem to get that everybody pays for their Medicare. They both wanted to end the Medicare guarantee to pay for even more tax breaks for the wealthy,” the ad’s script claims.
Gibson and Schreibman are running in a redrawn Hudson Valley district south of Albany where independent (or blank, unenrolled voters) are predominate.
Sep 17th - 10:14 am
Why would an incumbent — albeit a freshman incumbent — need their first TV spot of the general election to focus on biography?
In his first ad of this cycle, Rep. Chris Gibson highlights his service record in the U.S. Army and his family — all as he runs in a redrawn Congressional district that is somewhat different than the previous area.
Gibson’s new district is almost exclusively in the Hudson Valley south of Albany, whereas previously he represented a district that swung around the Capital and into the North Country.
The district is more Democratic and Gibson, a Republican, has worked to re-introduce himself to a new set of constituents.
“While our opponent has regrettably turned to false attacks, distortions, and a campaign that is based on trying to win an election by deceiving voters, our message is clear. Chris Gibson has a personal background and record as a Representative that focuses on service to our country and to Upstate New York. By putting the interests of New York first in every vote he takes, Chris has developed an independent record that advances local priorities,” said Stephanie Valle, Campaign Spokeswoman. “Our first commercial highlights Chris’s lifelong service and ability to help Upstate New York businesses, farms, and families succeed.”
Gibson faces Democrat Julian Schreibman this November.
Update: Schreibman’s campaign responds, saying the ad skirts Gibson’s record, which, surprise surprise, the Democrat says is bad for the district.
From Jonathan Levy, Julian Schreibman’s campaign manager:
“In the past two years, Congressman Gibson has voted in lock step with the Tea Party in Washington on the issues that matter most to the men and women of the Hudson Valley and Catskills region. He has voted for the Paul Ryan budget that would end the guarantee of Medicare and would force seniors to pay over $6,400 a year while giving more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. He has voted to defund Planned Parenthood and against choice repeatedly, and he has even pushed to put a new nuclear power plant on the banks of the Hudson,” Levy continued. “No amount of gauzy shots of Congressman Gibson talking to farmers can cover up the fact that he went to Washington promising to create jobs, and instead focused on pushing through the Tea Party agenda.”
Jun 28th - 4:41 pm
Both the DCCC and the NRCC have wasted no time attacking vulnerable members of Congress over their positions on Health Care. The D-Trip just put out this statement blasting Rep. Chris Gibson for past votes to repeal portions of the existing law.
“Washington politicians like Congressman Chris Gibson are trying to score partisan political points and protect insurance companies instead of protecting the middle class and seniors,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Rather than working to create jobs by strengthening the middle class, Congressman Gibson wants to put insurance companies back in charge of health care: taking away critical patient protections, denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, heart disease, or cancer and raising prescription drug costs for seniors. This is just the latest proof that Congressman Chris Gibson’s priority is scoring political points and protecting insurance company campaign contributors, not securing health care coverage and strengthening middle class families.”
You may remember that Gibson defeated Democratic Congressman Scott Murphy back in 2010. Murphy had voted for the Affordable Care Act. In a statement today, Gibson said he respected the ruling, but reiterated that he wants to replace the ACA.
“When I ran for Congress in 2010, I heard time and time again from my constituents across New York that we need health care reform, but that the President’s health care bill was not the answer. In addition to multiple tax increases, failing to address rising costs, harming small businesses, and significantly increasing government involvement in health care, this bill stepped on our freedoms,” Gibson said.
“Although the Supreme Court upheld the law by determining that the mandate equates to a tax on every American, it does not change what has become an indisputable reality in the last two years – the ACA is not the solution. We need to enact health care reform that lowers costs and increases access to quality care while protecting our freedoms.”
Gibson is going to face off against Attorney Julien Schreibman in November. Schreibman praised the ruling today, while also going on the offensive.
“Hopefully now Congress can stop playing politics with our healthcare laws, and start focusing on proper implementation and needed improvements so the law can be used how it was intended: to help the American people,” Schreibman said.
“Congressman Chris Gibson was wrong when he voted to allow insurance companies to discriminate against New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions. Instead of going backwards, this Court ruling will allow us to build on these reforms to help reduce the cost of healthcare instead of empowering insurance companies.”
The district leans Republican in enrollment, 141k to 130k, which favors Gibson. But redistricting eliminated more than half of his old district which could create an opening for Democrats.
Jun 14th - 12:37 pm
Congressman Chris Gibson raised more than $200k during the second quarter of this year, bringing his total cash on hand to more than a million dollars.
It’s a fairly substantial war chest for the incumbent Republican who saw his district change dramatically – it only retained about 44% of the population from his old district.
Gibson’s likely challenger, Kingston Lawyer Julian Schreibman has yet to file his campaign fundraising figures. Schreibman’s Democratic challenger, Ulster County Legislator Joel Tyner reported less than $9k cash on hand yesterday.