Primary elections on Tuesday for Democrats, Republicans

Julian Schreibman, an Ulster County attorney and former federal prosecutor, will face off against Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner, a schoolteacher and long-time liberal activist, next Tuesday when Democrats in the new 19th Congressional District go to the polls for the primary election.

With the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and every county Democratic committee in the district, including an endorsement by the Dutchess County Democrats, Schreibman appears to be the favorite to face Republican incumbent Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook) in November’s general election.

Schreibman said he believes his experience, as Assistant General Counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Assistant District Attorney in Ulster, will hold him in good stead in Washington where he views the toughness and independence of a prosecutor to be valuable traits.

Both candidates have campaigns that they say are centered on supporting the middle class. Tyner, a five-term county legislator from Clinton, has run a campaign supporting a progressive agenda, including single-payer healthcare (Medicare for all), an unconditional ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) and the need to reinstate the Glass-Steagall financial act and break up the big banks.

And while Schreibman may have the mainstream and local party support, Tyner has the support of progressive luminaries such as legend Pete Seeger and “Gasland” director Josh Fox. Tyner has been unafraid of being connected with the goals of the Occupy movement.

The 19th Congressional District is considered one of the more competitive “swing” districts in the country and is a prime pickup target for the Democrats this fall.

The Republican ballot will have three candidates vying for the difficult task of upending Democratic U.S, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November.

Wendy Long, a Manhattan lawyer, has been backed by the state Conservative Party and has touted endorsements from former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, the Club for Growth’s Grover Norquist, and former diplomat John Bolton. She also received the most votes at the state party convention.

Bob Turner, a congressman whose seat has been redrawn out of existence, has picked up the support of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He will also benefit from higher name recognition as the result of his special-election win of Anthony Weiner’s vacated congressional seat last year.

George Maragos currently serves as the Nassau County comptroller and has been pushing his business experience as his biggest advantage over his opponents. He has reportedly invested over $1 million of his own money in the campaign.

Gillibrand is currently polling as an overwhelming favorite against all challengers in a state where approximately 50 percent of all registered voters are registered Democrats.

To vote in a party primary, you must a registered member of that party. Cast a ballot at your usual voting locations, 6am to 9pm, on June 26.

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