A native of Canada, Eldridge now lives in Shokan, Ulster County.
Doug Muzzio, a professor of public affairs at Baruch College in Manhattan and a part-time resident of Harpersfield, said Gibson will be a formidable target for Eldridge, who is making his first foray into electoral politics.
“Gibson has shown himself to be an independent thinker, and he’s less strident and more moderate than your typical Republican,” Muzzio said. He also said there’s no guarantee Eldridge will end up the Democratic nominee, as there’s still time for other Democrats to enter the 2014 contest.
In response to requests from The Daily Star, the Eldridge campaign released statements articulating the candidate’s positions on the Affordable Care Act.
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act would hurt families in our region by ending some if its important provisions, including caps on insurance companies’ profits, the ability of young people to stay on their parents insurance until they’re 26, and ensuring that people with pre-existing contributions cannot be refused insurance,” one of the statements said.
Obama has touted the Affordable Care Act as one of his biggest achievements. Last week, Gibson voted with the House majority in on a measure that would strip funding from the health care initiative, saying the program is deeply flawed and should be delayed.
Eldridge, in another statement responding to a request for his position on the crisis in Syria, said he does not support the use of military force by the U.S. “at this time.”
“Military support should be reserved as a last resort to protect America’s security and interests,” Eldridge said.
Gibson was one of the first Republicans in Washington who called on the Obama administration to refrain from launching military strikes at the Assad government. Gibson has said he is opposed to arming the Syrian rebels with U.S. weaponry and has also called for stronger diplomatic efforts.
Otsego County Democratic Chairman Richard Abbate said he expects local Democrats will work hard to advance the candidacy of Eldridge, who is also supported by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Eldridge was a featured guest of Otsego Democrats in September at local party’s annual dinner in Milford.