Democrat Photo by John Emerson
Bob Moppert at the Sullivan County Government Center
Moppert Thinks He
Can Beat Hinchey
By John Emerson
MONTICELLO July 14, 2000 Binghamton businessman Bob Moppert is clinging to the belief that the third time is the charm as he announced his intentions to once again run for Congress against incumbent Democrat Maurice Hinchey.
Moppert, who opposed and lost to Hinchey in 1992 and 1994, announced his candidacy at a series of stops during a whirlwind tour across the sprawling 26th congressional district. Announcement stops were made in Ithaca, the western end of the district, Binghamton, Monticello, Kingston and Beacon, the easternmost section of the district.
In Monticello, a sparse crowd of less than two dozen people, mostly members of the media with a sprinkling of Republican party members, listened to Mopperts announcement at the Sullivan County Government Center. During a roughly five-minute speech, Moppert concentrated on the economic gains that have been made during his last five years as Regional Director for Economic Development for the Southern Tier.
I challenge anyone to match our record of success over the last five years, he said. We did this as a team player working with local economic developers, IDAs, chambers, state senators, assemblymen, county executives, county legislators, mayors, but no congressman. Its time we complete the team.
It has been almost 30 years since the area now encompassing the 26th congressional district sent a Republican to the House of Representatives despite holding an edge of roughly 2,000 Republican versus Democratic voter registrations. Former Congressman Matt McHugh held the seat for 20 years from 1972 until his retirement in 1992, when the new district was formed following the 1990 census. Hinchey has held the seat since then.
Moppert, 58, is a former Broome County legislator who served on the county legislature for five years prior to his run for congress in 1992. Although the district boundaries will be redrawn during the next two years, he said he decided to run this year because, at least in part, the new district might not leave me anywhere to run.
The state will lose at least one congressional seat and possibly two when new lines are drawn.