Battle for upstate NY House seat expected to be intense

KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) — Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Faso expect an expensive and hard-fought battle for a congressional seat opening up in New York with the retirement of Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson.

The race playing out among small cities and rural towns of the 19th Congressional District is among a handful in the state that loom large as House Democrats try to trim the Republicans’ 247-188 majority this year.

Teachout is a college law professor who launched a surprisingly strong 2014 primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election bid. Faso is a former Republican lawmaker who has been a sharp-tongued critic of liberal policies.

They are fighting for a district that encompasses a scenic stretch of the Hudson Valley, blue-collar river cities and farm country.