The 41-year-old Harvard Law grad and Rhodes scholar campaigned as an unapologetic Progressive, stressing the expansion of health care and safe gun laws. In a series of tweets of his election night results, Delgado said, “We must dream big, boldly, anew in the face of a broken status quo. And make no mistake about it, the status quo is broken. No matter how nasty, how ugly, how hateful the attacks, we continued to believe in the goodness, in the decency and the humanity in us all. The re-engagement continues with a commitment to giving the government back to the people. It should mean being beholden to the people who put you in office, not outside special interests. It should mean being transparent and accountable for your decisions and it should mean being open to dissenting opinions rather than engaging in vilification.
“I am a Democrat, but that is not why I ran. I ran because I am an American and I believe in our democracy. Being a politician in a democracy should mean you speak to, listen to and serve everyone irrespective of party or the size of one’s bank account. And what are these values? Equality, freedom, decency, integrity, accountability, hard work, responsibility, community, faith, service and love. These values are the building blocks for any well-functioning democracy.
“This is a new day built upon our shared values, values that I was raised on right here in upstate NY and values I experienced all across this district, no matter what county or town I visited. No matter how rural or how urban, no matter how red or how blue.”
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford released a statement saying, “This year, Antonio Delgado dared to imagine an America where gun violence wasn’t normal and people didn’t have to live in fear, wondering if today was the day they would have to duck under a desk or hide in a closet. Antonio stood tall and boldly declared that the gun lobby is no longer welcomed here and their influence over our politicians is a thing of the past. Communities in New York responded to this message of courage and hope by electing Antonio to office. Today marks the dawn of a new era for gun safety in America.”