Hail, the unknown soldier

Actually, this Republican’s name is major general (ret.) Tony German of Oneonta and he’s announced plans to challenge freshman Democratic congressman Antonio (Tony vs Tony?) Delgado for congress next year.

I didn’t get the memo, but it would appear from published reports that German will attempt to depict Delgado as a leftist radical out of touch with his generally moderate district (except for Ulster County).

Good luck with that kind of Beltway thinking, general. Delgado, whom assemblyman Kevin Cahill has called “one of the most carefully managed candidates” he’s seen in more than 20 years in politics, has very deliberately steered a middle road. Mainstream Democrat on most issues, Pelosi-lite to some, you do not see him siding with The Quartet on most issues. Call it duck and cover, something a retired general would be most familiar with.

Meanwhile, a couple of other no-names, Michael Roth of Ellenville and Ola Hamadeh of Poughkeepsie, have filed intentions to run with the Federal Elections Commission. Snicker not: Delgado was a complete unknown when he filed to run for congress in January of 2017.

Delgado, after beating John Faso on two issues – Trump and Faso’s refusal to hold town hall meetings with constituents – will rely on what was a winning strategy. Delgado has enjoyed massive, positive media coverage for the 21 town meetings he’s held since taking office in January, averaging about three of those a month. Look for a sharp increase in 2020. No Republican can match that.   

This is not to render Delgado invulnerable. First-term defenders can be had – Maurice Hinchey won his second term in 1994 by a mere percentage point. These are turbulent times; anything can happen, including the possible emergence of even more Delgado challengers, but only if Republicans smell blood in the water.

Media notes: They say we get only one chance to make a good first impression. If so, German didn’t wow Daily Freeman editors. Not only did they not print the name of the first Republican challenger in headlines, they used a file photo of Delgado for the teaser piece on page 1. First impression: this paper is really invested in Delgado.

NOBLE ENDING – Kingston Democrats will gather for the first of many fundraisers on Saturday night to honor retiring alderman-at-large Jim Noble. Festivities will take place at Little Italy in midtown from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets for a sit-down dinner start at $30 and will be available at the door.

Noble served in interesting times, for sure. First, there was the departure of IBM in 1995 (when he was Democratic Party city chairman), then the death of mayor T.R. Gallo in 2002, the Great Recession and two hurricanes, and now the detestable Trump (at least in the eyes of most Democrats.)

And old-fashioned Democrat, Noble, 68, kept his eye on the ball, his shoulder to the wheel and his nose to the grindstone and somehow lead the ticket in every race he ran.

How much impact a small-town official like Noble had on any of these monumental events, like “ably steering Kingston through the departure of IBM” (according to the official invitation) is open to conjecture. This much is true: the unflappable common council president was a mentor to dozens of aldermen during his 22 years and a steady hand at the helm.

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