Rep. Chris Gibson exits North Country, battles for career

A lot of North Country In Box readers won’t have had the opportunity to get to know Chris Gibson, the Republican former Army officer from the Hudson Valley who defeated Glens Falls Democrat Scott Murphy in 2010.

Gibson represented the old NY-20 district, a madly gerrymandered chunk of political turf that stretched from Poughkeepsie to Saranac Lake.

Through the couple of years that I interacted with him, I found Gibson to be one of the most intelligent, interesting, nuanced thinkers in Congress.

He’s conservative, but not ideologically rigid.  He often spoke passionately in favor of bipartisanship and compromised, and even praised President Barack Obama.

Redistricting has carved Gibson out of the North Country, where his re-election would have been a slam-dunk.

His chunk of our region has now been lumped into the NY-21 district which is being battled over by Rep. Bill Owens (D) and challenger Matt Doheny (R).

Gibson finds himself now living in the NY-19 district, which has far more of a Democratic tilt than the old NY-20 district.

He’ll now face Julian Schreibman, the moderate Democrat who edged out a more liberal contender in yesterday’s primary. Schreibman is seen as a rising star in his party and will have major backing from Washington DC.

This should be a ferocious political contest and it will be interesting to see if Gibson’s right-tilting brand of politics will play in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills as well as it played in the North Country.

In that part of New York state, where Cuomo and Obama are still popular, Gibson may find himself battling against the ideological image of the GOP, and Congress’s brutally low popularity.

If he doesn’t prevail, this may be one of those cases across the country where redistricting cuts short an otherwise bright and promising career.

 

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4 Comments on “Rep. Chris Gibson exits North Country, battles for career”

  1. Walter says:

    Don’t worry about Gibson. His new district still has more Republicans than Democrats, and his popularity in the areas he’s keeping will lead him to a pretty convincing victory. I have to disagree with you on one thing: Schreibman is not viewed as a rising star for the Dems. He’s a former County Chairman who couldn’t even get his own Party’s endorsement when he tried running for DA in Ulster County a couple years ago. He’s really viewed by most as a lightweight.

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  2. Newt says:

    The only time I saw Gibson was at that House Farm hearing he and Owens somehow brought to the agricultural meccas of Saranac Lake. He was very impressive. I have a very clear memory of him during the break out in the middle of the gym floor happily engaged with a bunch ofyoung local small farm activiists, not exactly your North Country Republican base. I never saw a Tea Pary-backed Republican I thought I could vote for, but I did that day.

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  3. Timothy Gibson says:

    Don’t worry about Mr. Schreibman, my friends. He’s one of the most hardnosed, straightlaced moderates the Democrats have produced in years (just ask the Al-Quada convicts he put behind bars). Schreibman KNOWS the issues and how they affect the people of the 19th. He won’t be bullied by a highly-financed, ideologued-driven Tea Party candidate who will temper his position just to get elected. He is no sheep in wolf’s clothing–Schreibman’s the real deal.
    Timothy Gibson
    (Oneonta)

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  4. Peter Hahn says:

    I agree with Newt – If there were more republicans like Chris Gibson, the world wouldn’t be such a dismal place now. (I’d still vote for the Democrat though)

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