Democrat File Photos
Julian Schreibman, left, and Chris Gibson, are both running for the 19th District, House of Representatives, in a race which Sullivan County is new to, due to the redistricting. Congressman Maurice Hinchey has retired, which opened the seat.
County part of new district as Hinchey retires
Incumbent Gibson defends his record
Story by Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY Chris Gibson has been to Iraq, Haiti, Kosovo and across the U.S. not as a Congressman but as an Army leader, sometimes in combat.
Yet he’s returned to his home of upstate New York (Kinderhook in Columbia County, to be exact) to dive into the roiling waters of politics Washington politics, at that.
“I led paratroopers in battle, and we helped the Iraqis come together,” he explains. “I believe I’ve got the right background, skills and experiences to bring people together.”
If this freshman Republican Congressman for the 20th District is re-elected, however, that task will become even more herculean, as redistricting is putting him in the wide-ranging 19th District (which includes all of Sullivan County).
That race has pit him against Democratic candidate Julian Schreibman, who has painted Gibson as a Tea Party extremist.
“I think that says more about him than me,” Gibson remarks, noting he was named the third most independent Republican in the House of Representatives by the Washington Post, based on his voting record.
He decries TV ads by Schreibman on his abortion stance.
“I’m not even for overturning Roe vs. Wade,” he says, adding, however, that he only supports taxpayer funding for abortions in cases of rape, incest or where the woman’s life is threatened.
As for the charge he deems the U.S. Dept. of Education “unnecessary,” Gibson doesn’t argue it per se.
“We’re spending too much money on bureaucracy,” he states, pushing instead for more funding to teachers directly.
Gibson touts himself as a leader, created from his near-quarter-century of service with the Army and honed in Congress.
“More than anything, that’s what our country needs: leadership,” he affirms.
As examples, he says he led an effort to garner funding for those affected by Hurricane Irene, helped retain jobs in major upstate businesses like Sidney’s Amphenol, and has shaped the Farm Bill, which he promised will aid struggling dairy farmers.
“I believe the President will sign it by the end of the year,” he predicts.
Gibson says Sullivan County will benefit from his efforts on the Transportation Bill (which will increase funding for local highway infrastructure) and on expanding broadband in rural areas.
“And I’ll open up a full-time office in Sullivan County,” he adds.
What about gas drilling? He states it should be up to local municipalities once it’s properly regulated.
“I want to make sure we don’t make a mistake,” Gibson explains. “Before I endorse this, I want to be comfortable we have a process in place that protects our air and water.”
For more, see chrisgibsonforcongress.com.
Schreibman: A voice for the unheard
Story by Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY Julian Schreibman sees Sullivan County as many of its residents do.
“Sullivan County is obviously a great and beautiful county,” he affirms, “but it has a lot of challenges.”
Schreibman says he’s eager to help address them, and he hopes voters will give him that opportunity come November 6.
A Woodstock native (as in the Ulster County hamlet), he grew up in a middle-class family that he says knew life’s struggles all too well.
“Those aren’t the voices being heard in Washington today,” he points out.
Schreibman, a Democrat, has spent the past few months listening to those voices as he crisscrosses the newly redrawn 19th Congressional District, which includes all of Sullivan County.
He’s vying with Republican Chris Gibson to replace Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who will retire at the end of this year.
The 40-year-old Schreibman often contrasts himself with the 48-year-old Gibson on traditional left-vs.-right issues. In particular, he faults Gibson for what he terms “extreme Tea Party views.”
“My opponent has called the Department of Education unnecessary,” Schreibman explains, criticizing Gibson (an incumbent in the 20th Congressional District for the last two years) for “two years of obstruction and getting nothing done.”
Schreibman wants to focus on improving the economy, health and job prospects of locals, in part by providing tax relief to small businesses, nurturing “green” companies and reducing burdensome regulations on everything from farms to banks.
He’s also an anti-fracker.
“All the evidence so far suggests it’s bad for our environment and our economy,” he explains.
He promises to bring that scrutiny and a fighting prosecutorial spirit, culled from his time with the CIA and as both a federal and Ulster County prosecutor to Congress.
Schreibman’s got Congressman Hinchey’s blessing and endorsement.
“We want to follow the guideposts he set,” Schreibman says.
For more info, check out his website at julianforny.com.