A political earthquake is set to hit the Hudson Valley with the pending retirement of GOP Rep. Chris Gibson.

Gibson, who first won the pre-redistricting NY-20 after defeating Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy in 2010, is set to retire once he concludes his third term in 2016, according to Roll Call and confirmed last night to TWC News by multiple GOP sources.

Gibson, who has previously set term limits for himself at years, has not ruled out a potential run for statewide office.

Running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 against incumbent Democrat Chuck Schumer would be close to political suicide; a more realistic proposition has been the retired Army colonel running for either governor or against U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2018.

Announcing his intentions to call it quits now allows Republicans to raise money and recruit a candidate for a district that backed President Obama in 2012 (Gibson, running in the redrawn NY-19, defeated Democrat Julian Schreibman that year).

Nevertheless, expect some intense jockeying in the coming days to replace Gibson.


If there are any potential heirs to Gibson’s seat that can match his stamina, its Melrose Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, a former airline pilot and vocal critic of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. McLaughlin has fans with the conservative base and even briefly flirted with running for governor himself as well as the state Senate. He declined to run, citing the fundraising mountain he’d have to climb to take on Cuomo.

Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino has also been mentioned at times for higher office, a woman who has often been put on a short list of rising Republican stars on the local level.

Speaking of rising stars, no list of ambitious Republicans in the Hudson Valley can’t miss Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a former assemblyman who is part of the GOP bench on the local level and also frequently named as a possible candidate for higher office one day.

Updated: A few more Republican names to add to the list include Assemblyman Pete Lopez, known for his constituent services, and state Sen. Jim Seward, the chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, who represents a safe Republican seat in the chamber.


On the Democratic side, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein was floated as a potential candidate for lieutenant governor for Cuomo. He’s polished and well known and could run a competitive race.

Sean Eldridge, the young venture capitalist who poured much of his own money into the race and tapped into a wealthy donor base, may also run for the seat again. Eldridge’s run was derided for its presumption, but a second-time candidate is often one who knows a lot more about the mechanics of running for public office.

Former state Sen. Terry Gipson lost his seat last year to Republican Sue Serino. Affable and unassuming, Gipson could have some luck in a presidential election year when more Democrats turn out to vote.