By Eric Gross
The woman who challenged U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand last November and lost by a wide margin has a new target in her sights– Putnam County Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney.
Chele Farley, who resides in Tuxedo in Orange County, announced last week that she will seek the Republican nomination to oppose the Cold Spring resident in November, 2020.
Maloney’s 18th Congressional District encompasses all of Putnam and Orange counties in addition to sections of northern Westchester and Dutchess counties.
During a telephone interview Wednesday, Farley said she decided to seek the nomination because “I can make a difference. The Hudson Valley needs lower taxes, better infrastructure while reducing our energy costs. Residents in the Hudson Valley need a new voice in Washington who will fight for our values of hard work and living within our means.”
Farley promised to visit communities throughout the district within the next 18 months: “People may know my name but I want to meet as many of my future constituents as possible up close. While I am familiar with the four GOP chairs in the 18th Congressional District I want to get to know the residents as well.”
One of the key issues in the upcoming campaign, according to Farley, deals with infrastructure: “We must resurface Routes 84 and 684 while expand the Taconic State Parkway and allot more funds to the MTA. Money is out there. Instead it is going to Florida and Texas rather than coming back to New York. Sean Patrick Maloney has done little in this area. During his six years in office, the congressman has sponsored bills of which four have gotten out of committee and one has been passed into law and that to rename a post office. This is not helping our infrastructure or lowering taxes.”
When queried about President Trump, Farley replied: “I voted for him. I support his policies when they are good for New York. Unemployment is at an all time low thanks to the President yet GOP tax reforms approved in 2017 that placed a $10,000 cap on state and local income tax deductions must be renegotiated. I intend to negotiate to make that piece of legislation better. We can’t have such a cap when the average tax bill in Westchester exceeds $18,000 while many Putnam families are paying anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000 in property taxes. The limit must be doubled or tripled. It’s wonderful that we have a President from New York. I promise to work with him closely in Congress to make sure that New York gets its fair share.”
Maloney defeated Republican James O’Donnell last year by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin.
Maloney responded to Farley’s announced candidacy by saying: “The folks I work for want someone focused on solving their problems. There will be plenty of time to worry about politics next year.”