Reprinted with permission from the Times Union
KINDERHOOK — In 1986, John Faso gave Congress Chris Gibson (R – 19th) his first job out of college as a proofreader with the Legislative Bill Drafting Commission.
On Monday, July 18, Mr. Gibson returned the favor by endorsing Faso for his seat in the House of Representatives.
“I believe that when the voters of this district get to know John Faso the way that I’ve come to know him over the last three decades, they’re going to support him,” Mr. Gibson said outside his home in Kinderhook — a stone’s throw from where Mr. Faso lives in the village.
“Now I think is the time for Republicans and independents and Democrats looking for a better way to get behind John Faso,” he said.
Mr. Gibson, who will retire at the end of the year, cited Mr. Faso’s selflessness and team-oriented attitude as positive attributes for a potential congressman.
Mr. Faso, who was first elected to the Assembly in 1986, has also been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.
If elected, Mr. Faso pledged to continue working on some of the congressman’s initiatives, including Lyme disease awareness and disaster recovery.
“He’s someone whose work I will certainly take up if the voters honor me in Congress with their support,” Mr. Faso said. “He leaves very big shoes to fill in this district.”
Mr. Faso defeated fellow Republican Andrew Heaney in a primary at the end of June. He is now up against the Democratic primary winner Zephyr Teachout in the November election.
Mr. Faso has publicly criticized Teachout, a comparative newcomer to the 19th District, for using the race to further her image as a national figure. But Mr. Gibson claimed to harbor no ill feelings against the former Fordham professor.
“I have a favorable view of her, but I have a very favorable view of John,” Mr. Gibson said. “I think he is most qualified to be our representative, and that is because first of all he’s lived here for decades.”
Ms. Teachout responded to Gibson’s endorsement stating that while she does not agree with his support of Mr. Faso, she respects his leadership and ability to remain independent.
Ms. Teachout has shown fundraising prowess throughout her campaign, but Mr. Faso did not show any concern.
“Money is important, but votes and people are more important in the election,” he said.
To contact reporter Michaela Kilgallen email .