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New lines draw GOP angst

Republicans in southern Saratoga County not pleased with new congressional districts

Bob Dietrich, a Scotia banker, is the Republican choice in the redrawn 20th Congressional District. New district lines lump much of southern Saratoga County into the same congressional district as Democratic strongholds like Albany, Schenectady and Troy, drawing the angst ofsome GOP leaders in the area who are now represented by Republican Chris Gibson. (Submitted Photo)

Bob Dietrich, a Scotia banker, is the Republican choice in the redrawn 20th Congressional District. New district lines lump much of southern Saratoga County into the same congressional district as Democratic strongholds like Albany, Schenectady and Troy, drawing the angst ofsome GOP leaders in the area who are now represented by Republican Chris Gibson. (Submitted Photo)

— Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, has represented much of Saratoga County since 2011, and will be headed to the 19th district where, if elected, he’ll be representing much of the Mohawk and Hudson valleys.

Bill Smith, chairman for the Malta Republican Committee for thepast 10 years, said he was “very disappointed” to lose Gibson.

“He’s been a great congressional representative, but unfortunately any time you redistrict somebody gets affected and this time it’s Malta,” Smith said.

Gibson, a retired Army officer, said, “This reminds me of my experiences in the U.S. military. My wife Mary Jo and I, we would get to a new post and I’d be focused on the new mission … the families and soldiers would get close and then it would be done and you’d have to move to a different post.”

He has emotions and said he is sad not to have the opportunity to serve the many friends he’s made in Saratoga, Warren and Essex counties. Hesaid that those friendships would continue, though.

“I’ll always be there for folks who need help and I’ll be a strong advocate for Upstate New York. I’m also very excited. With the new map comes new opportunity and challenges and new friendships await. We have 81 new towns and we’re in the process of planning to get out to all the towns, met some already and getting to know them and giving them a stronger voice in theU.S. Congress,” said Gibson.

The Independence Party of New York has endorsed Gibson in what will become the 19th Congressional District.

Republicans in the new 20th District are supporting Bob Dieterich of Scotia as their candidate for Congress. His office releasedthe following statement:

“The ruling by the court on the congressional lines for the new20th Congressional District is final. I am saddened for losing the opportunity to represent the wonderful people of Schoharie and Fulton Counties but excitedabout Saratoga County. I have met some wonderful people and groups in Saratoga County and am very encouraged with their support and friendship.”

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