RICHFIELD SPRINGS - Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, criticized Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge on Monday for relocating into the district in a way that “smacks of opportunism” and seeking a congressional seat despite having “virtually no experience.”
For months, Gibson has been on the receiving end of a succession of attacks from the Eldridge camp.
Gibson, in an interview with The Daily Star following an appearance at Richfield Springs High School, took off the gloves, depicting Eldridge as an out-of-touch candidate “with absolutely no ties to the district.”
“The contrast is clear,” Gibson said. “You have someone who grew up here in a working class family who understands how hard it is to go through a winter like the one we just went through, saw our heating bills all go up and understands that when that happens it hurts our choices. I know first hand what that is like. But someone who is a billionaire doesn’t understand. Without having grown up here, he doesn’t fully understand what the needs of our communities are.”
Gibson also voiced confidence in his own campaign as it prepares for an aggressive fundraising effort by Eldridge, who has been activist in the cause for marriage equality rights for homosexuals and is married to the co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes.
“He (Eldridge) moved into the district after the last election for the purpose of running for Congress,” Gibson said. “When people find that out - regardless of party, whether it be Republican, Independent or Democrat - when people find that out I think we’re going to have strong support.”
It was the most strident criticism of Eldridge yet from Gibson, a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran who served in Iraq, Kosovo and Haiti.
Eldridge campaign spokesman Morgan Hook responded by saying that Eldridge “has the experience and the values to best represent families in NY-19.”