With voter turnout reported to be high throughout New York’s new 19th Congressional District, Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, emerged victorious Tuesday night in his quest to represent the new 19th Congressional District, defeating Democrat Julian Schreibman of Ulster County by more than 20,000 votes.
Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, an unorthodox Republican who witheld his support from Romney, coasted to victory past Dan Lamb, a Tompkins County Democrat and former aide Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, who opted not to seek another term.
Officials throughout the region said they were impressed by the high levels of voter participation, much of it sparked by the hard-fought contest between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
The crisp fall weather also didn’t hurt turnout. “It was a beautiful day to get out to vote,” said Roxbury Town Supervisor Tom Hynes.
Hynes said while the presidential race appeared to have generated the most interest among voters, local matchups also lured citizens to the voting booth. He observed that the race for the Delaware County judge appeared to be of greater interest to many voters than the duel between Gibson and Schreibman.
“(Carl) Becker and (Gary) Rosa are both pretty well-known in this county,” said Flynn, who has led his town for 28 years.
In one of upstate New York’s most closely watched congressional races, Gibson, with more than 85 percent of the votes counted, was leading Schreibman 54.5 percent to 45.5 percent.
Schreibman’s campaign was hampered by the fact he was facing a “folksy” incumbent in the person of Gibson, a retired Army colonel already known to most voters, said Adrian Kuzminski of Fly Creek, the founder of the anti-drilling group Sustainable Otsego, who had endorsed the Democrat.
He said Schreibman “missed a golden opportunity” to send a representative from his campaign to come out against the proposed Constitution Pipeline at a hearing held by federal regulators in Oneonta last month, the same night that the two congressional candidates were sparring at a debate elsewhere in Oneonta.