Sep 19th - 10:54 am
Retiring Rep. Chris Gibson has made a point during his tenure in the House to try to appeal to a wide range of constituents by adopting a pragmatic approach in D.C. – even when his won conference has leaned steadily to the right.
As a result, Gibson is popular in his closely divided district (NY-19). He won an easy re-election there two years ago against his Democratic opponent, political newcomer Sean Eldridge; and also in 2012 against former Ulster County Democratic Chairman Julian Schreibman, despite the fact that redistricting had skewed the district southward, making it more Democrat-dominated.
Gibson declined to take sides in the GOP primary battle for his seat, which he is vacating at the end of the year, but has since endorsed the winner of that fight, former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso.
Now Gibson, who is giving up politics altogether for a life in academic, is trying to transfer some of his popularity to his would-be successor, starring in a new TV ad on his behalf.
The ad was released today, and, according to an accompanying press release, highlights Faso’s “long-standing commitment to his community” – a dig at his Democratic opponent, Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout, who only recently moved into the district – and his “friendship” with the retiring congressman, who, as it turns out, lives right down the street from Gibson and his family.
Here’s the script for the ad, which will run on cable television and digital outlets throughout the district, as well as broadcast television in the Albany market. No immediate details on the size of the buy were provided.
Gibson: I’m retiring from Congress but I don’t have to go far to find the right person to keep representing us.
John Faso, he’s not only a friend… he’s my neighbor.
He and his wife Mary Frances raised their family in this house down the street from mine.
John pushed for the property tax cap and helped pass the STAR program.
He gets results for taxpayers.
Okay over to you John.
Faso: Thanks Chris. I’m John Faso, and I approve this message.
May 2nd - 1:33 pm
Rep. Chris Gibson has decided he will not run for governor in 2018, instead taking a teaching position as a visiting lecturer on leadership at Williams College.
Gibson will discuss his decision not to run for governor in an exclusive Capital Tonight interview to air at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on TWC News.
Gibson, 51, is expected to join the college in February 2017.
The move will allow him to publish and spend more time with his family.
First elected in 2010, Gibson had previously announced plans to term limit himself in office. Ultimately, he spent six years in the House of Representatives in a battleground Hudson Valley congressional district.
Gibson said he has always wanted to teach and write and previously taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and served as a military fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is the author of “Securing the State,” a book on national security decision making published by Ashgate in 2008.
He had previously formed an exploratory committee to run for governor and had traveled the state as his term in Congress was due to expire. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated he plans to run for a third term.
Gibson’s decision comes as the Cuomo administration is hitting a particularly rough point, with the governor’s former closest top aide under investigation. But Gibson said he still believes Republicans have a good chance to win in 2018 and defeat Cuomo. He anticipates supporting whoever the GOP nominee is at that time.
Gibson won re-election twice in the 19th congressional district, putting down a well-funded challenge from Democrat Sean Eldridge in 2014.
Feb 10th - 2:29 pm
A prominent gun-control group on Wednesday criticized Rep. Chris Gibson’s call to rollback the SAFE Act, a signature legislative accomplishment for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Gibson on Tuesday launched his exploratory bid for governor ahead of the 2018 statewide elections, promising to tackle the SAFE Act by scaling back its provisions and replacing it with measures aimed addressing mental health and gang violence.
But New Yorkers Against Gun Violence in a statement said Gibson can’t have it both ways — claim the “moderate” label and pursuing a SAFE Act rollback. The group also pointed to Gibson’s $14,900 in contributions from the National Rifle Association.
“Our state doesn’t need a beltway alumnus like Chris Gibson to replicate what he and his colleagues did in Washington: stand idly by while nearly 100,000 Americans died from gun violence since the slaughter of twenty children and six educators at Sandy Hook,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, the group’s director. “It is unconscionable that he would wear this failure as a badge of honor as he pledges to roll back the real progress that has been made in this state.”
Gibson’s position on gun control is nuanced. He told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday he is not opposed to background checks, nor does he consider such provisions “gun control.”
Expect more of the same from organizations allied with Cuomo to knock Gibson as he starts the fundraising process early in the campaign cycle in order to be competitive with the Democratic incumbent’s $15 million war chest.
Cuomo has said he plans to seek a third term in 2018.
Feb 9th - 3:33 pm
But at the same time, Gibson is already starting to look ahead at how he plans to govern in a state Capitol that’s dominated by Democratic lawmakers.
Gibson insisted he could find common ground with Assembly Democrats, who hold a veto-proof majority in the chamber, by linking reforms to education with efforts to scale back the SAFE Act.
“If you have a leader, with a mandate, with a strong vote, you could package a bill that rolled back Common Core, that empowered local schools with resources and flexible policies and in the same bill, roll back the SAFE Act and include mental health and include provisions to crack down on gangs and narco traffickers,” Gibson said.
Gibson is among an increasingly crowded field of potential Republican candidates for governor, including Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, businessman Harry Wilson and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
A three-term Hudson Valley House representative, Gibson retires at the end of the current term this year to focus on a statewide run.
No Republican in New York has been elected statewide since 2002.
The SAFE Act remains a key issue for Republicans and conservative voters in New York following its passage in 2013. The measure remains a signature law for Cuomo, who counts it among his key legislative successes from his first term.
Gibson, however, said he is supportive of background checks for gun purchases, saying such a provision isn’t restricting access to firearms.
“I would tell you that law-abiding citizens, background check, we don’t consider that gun control,” Gibson said. “We consider that the normal practices as part of owning a rifle or a pistol in a free society. So, you know, the background checks we support. The issue we have is when you start to make statements such as different types of rifles. This is not helpful and it’s unconstitutional in my point of view and it’s what we’re going to rollback.”
At the same time, Gibson insists he can sidestep the issue of abortion, calling the matter a settled one in New York.
Speaking a news conference with reporters at Albany International Airport, Gibson said he can’t recall a time in which a constituent came to him with a concern about access to abortion services.
“I think abortion is a settled issue in New York. I’ve worked so many cases in my office over the five years helping veterans, helping senior citizens, college students with issues with loans,” Gibson said. “I don’t ever remember having a case in my offices where a woman was facing a very weighty decision and she didn’t feel she didn’t have the support to make that decision in terms of what’s in current law. I’m not aware of a single case.”
Feb 9th - 1:13 pm
Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan on Tuesday called Rep. Chris Gibson a “good guy” but didn’t immediately endorse his potential run for governor in 2018.
Flanagan predicted the field for the race that’s more than two years away will be a “packed” one for the GOP.
“He’s a good guy,” Flanagan told a group of reporters in a question-and-answer session. “There’s a lot of good people out there. We’re going to have a packed field in 2018.”
Gibson on Monday formally filed paperwork to launch an exploratory committee in the lead up to a statewide campaign. A three-term congressman, Gibson is due to retire from Congress at the end of the year.
Gibson joins potential Republican candidates for governor that include Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, businessman Harry Wilson and 2010 nominee Carl Paladino.
Jan 25th - 4:32 pm
Carl Paladino didn’t waste a chance to take a dig at one of his potential competitors, if he’s serious about another run for Governor in 2018.
“I’m always in campaign season. I’m the same way now that I’ll be two years from now when we’re actually running,” Paladino said.
On Bill Samuels Effective Radio show Sunday Paladino accused Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Rockville Center, of having “Washinton-itis.” He elaborated Monday saying he’s been disappointed with how Gibson has voted, particularly on budget bills.
“I told him privately that I was very upset with what he had done. I wrote him a note and I told him that,” he said.
Gibson’s office declined to comment on the criticism. Paladino said he’s not done speaking his mind about the congressman and he encouraged him to return the favor.
“Collision courses are good in government, okay. We should have a lot more of them. They should stop trying to dance together and start being adversaries as to properly vet out what they’re doing,” Paladino said.
Jan 14th - 3:41 pm
Rep. Chris Gibson, a Republican who is considering a potential run for governor in 2018, said he hopes whoever occupies the post next does the State of the State differently than Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s presentation on Wednesday.
Gibson criticized Cuomo for delivering the address in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, where the event was moved the first year the governor took office in 2011.
Traditionally, the annual address was delivered in the Assembly chamber.
“This set of remarks needs to be presented before the peoples’ chamber,” Gibson said in an interview on Talk-1300.
Gibson was also critical of the laudatory 10-minute video shown before Cuomo’s speech produced by the governor’s office that touted his time in office.
“I would start with this pageantry,” Gibson said. “It reminds of the Hunger Games. We get a 10-minute video, just applauding.”
And Gibson knocked Cuomo for proposing limits on outside income for state elected officials while the governor himself received a $700,000 for a memoir.
“It just galls me that a guy who makes all this outside money, stands before the people we ought to do this,” Gibson said, adding he would considering backing such a measure. “He should go first.”
Jan 13th - 8:41 am
As he considers a run for governor in 2018, Republican Rep. Chris Gibson said the GOP in New York has to reach out to Democrats and independent voters if it wants to win their first statewide election since 2002.
Gibson was reacting to President Obama’s final State of the Union address on Tuesday night, but his talk turned toward New York issues and concerns about corruption in Albany.
“A lot of folks are very upset with the level of corruption in Albany and I think there’s significant reform that’s needed there as well,” Gibson said.
Gibson is one of several Republicans believed to be considering a run for governor in 2018. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the party’s 2014 nominee, has not ruled out a second bid. Rockland County Executive Ed Day is in the mix, as is Harry Wilson, a Westchester County businessman who ran for state comptroller in 2010.
Carl Paladino, the Buffalo businessman and Donald Trump supporter who ran and insurgent campaign for the GOP’s nomination in 2010, has said he intends to run in 2018 as well.
Asked about Paladino’s potential campaign, Gibson seemingly questioned whether Paladino can unite not just the party, but other New Yorkers as well in this very blue state.
“I think we have a big tent. Anyone can run,” Gibson said. “I think the real challenge is: Who can unite? Who can rally? Can we rally the Republican side? And, so importantly, can we reach out? Can we rally the base and get independents and Democrats to come with us? If you’re going to run in a state 2-to-1, you certainly have to get broader support.”
Gibson is retiring from his Hudson Valley congressional seat at the end of the year. In the meantime, he has been traveling the state to build support for a potential gubernatorial campaign.
Dec 28th - 6:00 am
From today’s Morning Memo:
Retiring Rep. Chris Gibson, who has been mentioned as a potential GOP gubernatorial contender in 2018, isn’t jumping on the Donald Trump-for-president bandwagon, saying he doesn’t like the idea of making the billionaire real estate developer head of the US armed services.
“I have concerns about giving that guy an army,” Gibson, a retired Army colonel whose close to three decades in uniform included four tours of duty in Iraq. “As someone who served for 29 years, I have concerns given what I’ve heard to date about what his temperament and the judgement he has.”
Gibson’s comments, made during an appearance yesterday on AM970’s “Effective Radio With Bill Samuels,” come as other Republicans in New York – most notably Buffalo businessman and 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, are ratcheting up efforts to assist Trump in winning New York’s April 19, 2016 presidential primary.
Gibson is one of two self-styled moderate Republican members of New York’s congressional delegation who are departing the House at the end of next year. Rep. Richard Hanna recently announced he also will be forgoing a re-election bid (in NY-22) in 2016.
Unlike Gibson, however, Hanna isn’t looking to run for any other office, saying he merely wants to depart the increasingly divisive atmosphere in D.C. to spend more time with his family.
In recent months, Gibson has stepped up his comments – and criticism – of New York politics and policy as he mulls whether to launch a statewide bid in 2018, potentially against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose team insists he’ll be seeking a third term.
Also during his interview with Samuels, Gibson said he supports a Constitutional Convention in 2017, saying “we clearly need reform in this state.”
He also accused the governor of “demonizing” teachers and “moving down the wrong path” on standardized testing, though Cuomo has recently done an about-face on that issue, most notably calling – through his latest reform task force – for a moratorium on linking test results and teacher performance evaluations.
During this same interview with Samuels, Gibson also weighed in on raises for state lawmakers. He’s not a fan, though he probably won’t have much of a say in the matter, since a commission quietly created in this last budget deal will be making recommendations on the issue next year.
Gibson did reiterate his support for term limits, for which he has long been an outspoken advocate.
Also worth noting, the TU’s Chris Churchill sat down recently with Gibson in the congressman’s Kinderhook home to try to determine whether a statewide victory for a Republican is possible – particularly against Cuomo. Gibson insists it is, though he acknowledged the path is “very narrow.”
Nov 11th - 12:48 pm
Republican Rep. Chris Gibson on Wednesday said he is “very seriously” considering a run for governor in 2018, faulting Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo on a variety of issues ranging from corruption in state government to his handling of the New York economy.
“I look at the possibilities in terms of the economy in New York state, so much more could be done on that score and I look at the corruption in Albany,” Gibson said in a radio interview with WCNY’s The Captiol Pressroom. “We cannot accept that. I run into constituents who say, well, that’s the way it is. We cannot accept that.”
He added his military experience would make him well-equipped to handle the often obtuse customs and processes of state government and enable to get the Legislature to act on his agenda.
“My experience in the military, when you want to get something difficult done, the commander has to go first,” Gibson said.
Gibson pledged to serve two terms if elected and sign a bill that would ban the practice of single donors giving unlimited funds through a network of limited liability companies. More >