KINGSTON - Incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, has defeated Democrat Julian Schreibman of Ulster County in the 19th Congressional District race.
As of this morning, Gibson was leading Schreibman by a margin of 137,870 to 120,060, with all but two of the 653 election precincts reporting.
Gibson released a statement via his Facebook page after Schreibman conceded.
"I want to thank our supporters, our volunteers, and the voters of the 19th Congressional District for placing their trust in me to represent them in Congress," Gibson's Facebook page said. "This was truly an effort that united people beyond party lines, and I am so incredibly grateful. At this moment, we need to come together and look forward. We need results, and I'm excited to get to work for every single person in Upstate New York."
Schreibman issued a statement early this morning, conceding the race and wishing Gibson well:
"I want to congratulate Congressman Chris Gibson on his victory tonight. I wish him good health, energy, and wisdom to represent all of us in the 19th Congressional district. While we have differed on many issues, he has served with honor during his time in Congress. It has been an incredible experience meeting so many wonderful people across the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, and I look forward to the next chapter in my life which, most immediately will mean spending more time with my wonderful family."
Gibson currently represents the 20th District, but parts of his district are to be combined with large swaths of the 22nd Congressional District, represented by retiring U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Saugerties, to form the 19th district.
The new district will include western Montgomery County.
The race to represent the newly drawn district, which also includes all of Ulster, Dutchess, Greene and Columbia counties, had tightened in recent weeks, with a Siena College poll showing last week that Schreibman pulled to within 5 points of Gibson after being down by 16 points in September.
Jobs, health care, and energy were hot topics in the contest, with Schreibman aggressively pointing out some of Gibson's controversial votes, like one the Republican cast in favor of GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's budget proposal last year; one that supported defunding Planned Parenthood; and one for a Washington, D.C., late-term abortion ban that made no exceptions for rape and incest victims.
While the former Ulster County Democratic chairman described Gibson as pursuing an extreme Tea Party agenda, the Kinderhook Republican described himself as a bipartisan problem solver who played key roles in crafting the latest U.S. transportation bill and helped improve rural access to broadband Internet service.
On the Ryan budget, Schreibman said the plan would turn Medicare into a voucher program, laying the groundwork for dismantling the popular entitlement program by setting up a system in which payments to the elderly would not keep pace with costs.
Gibson has said his vote was about moving forward the conversation about how to save the program before it goes bankrupt. He also supported the bipartisan Cooper-LaTourette budget as an alternative plan to save Medicare.
On jobs, Gibson's proposals include scaling back burdensome regulations, coming up with a fairer tax code, controlling costs that inhibit economic growth, increasing supply of fossil fuels while investing in renewable energy, ensuring credit is available to businesses that want to expand and pursuing fair trade agreements, among others.
Gibson is a retired U.S. Army colonel and veteran of Iraq. In his 24-year military career, he was deployed seven times. He has taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has a doctorate in government from Cornell University, and is the author of "Securing the State."
Schreibman, an attorney from Stone Ridge, is a partner in the law firm Wachtel, Masyr and Missry, where he specializes in litigation.