Utica, N.Y. - Republican Kyle Van De Water says he is ready for election day and hopes to unseat incumbent Democrat Antonio Delgado in the race for the 19th Congressional District seat.
Van De Water served in the U.S. Army and continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves while an attorney with a law firm in Poughkeepsie.
Delgado, an attorney himself living in Rhinebeck was elected to the 19th Congressional District seat in 2018.
Now the two attorneys from Dutchess County will battle it on on election day.
Both Delgado and Van De Water say campaigning in 2020 during a pandemic has been difficult,
Delgado says he has done a lot of Town Hall Meetings on Zoom over the past several months with constituents, "Obviously it’s a different dynamic when you think about the restrictions, the limitations, in terms of being able to get out and do the same things that you may have been able to do in 2018. But again, for me we’re going through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic so my focus has primarily been on making sure that I continue to be the advocate that I need to be for the communities that I represent."
Van De Water says he has recently gotten out to meet residents, "Everything has been social distancing and I’ve been doing as much as I can over the phone or over Zoom meetings like I am with you right now. But I am out there and I have boots on the ground since the moment that opened up."
Van De Water says Delgado has not delivered when it comes to broadband service for the mostly rural congressional district, "My opponent failed to give broadband to New York 19. He had two years to do it and he failed. So he gets an 'F' for trying because he didn’t execute."
Delgado says he has fought for and received federal funding to bring broadband to more rural areas and will continue to fight to get even more, "I also introduced three bills that would ensure that we have future-proof speed for our broadband and we will hold providers accountable by saying you must give us more accurate data, not what you just advertise to consumers but what you can in fact gift consumers by way of speed and quality."
When it comes to small businesses, including restaurants, Rep. Delgado says the key is to get those small businesses help at the federal level, while this pandemic continues, "That’s why I’ve been advocating so aggressively for another stimulus bill. We passed the CARES Act back in March, a bipartisan bill, the last time we were able to work on a bipartisan basis to get something done. I was able to get my Small Business Repayment Relief Act included in that bill which automatically waived six months of SBA loan payments for our small businesses."
Van De Water says restaurants should be allowed to open up at 100 percent now, "There are too many restaurants that are being shut down in New York 19, it’s time for us to open up, we can do it safely, we just have to open up, enough is enough. And when you can’t do it because you’re at 50% capacity, then you’re hurting all the other businesses that’s around that restaurant."