Van De Water wins GOP primary in NY 19th Congressional District

Daily Freeman-6 months before

With all 11 counties in the district reporting complete results, Van DeWater had 11,585 votes to Hawatmeh's 9,365.

Van De Water will face first-term U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, in the November election.

The GOP results include all votes that were cast in person on Primary Day, June 23, and during the early voting period that preceded it; as well as the large number of votes that were mailed because of the ...=coronavirus">COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 pandemic Van De Water, a U.S. Army veteran and lawyer who lives in Millbrook, carried eight of the 11 counties in the district, including Ulster, by 450 votes, and Dutchess, by 787. He also carried Greene, Columbia, Schoharie, Montgomery, Rensselaer and Broome counties.

Hawatmeh, a fashion designer who lives in Pleasant Valley, carried Sullivan, Delaware and Otsego counties. Hawatmeh has a second home in Otsego County.

Hawatmeh, a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, echoed his attacks on mail-in voting in a July 5 opinion piece posted on the "American Greatness" website.

July 5 opinion piece Without evidence, Hawatmeh wrote she is "patient zero of the virus of deadly electoral fraud that will sweep the nation if widespread mail-in voting becomes the norm.”

Much of the opinion piece, titled "Barr Is Right to Flag Mail-In Voting as Risky," consists of a letter Hawatmeh sent to U.S. Attorney General William Barr. In it, she asked him to investigate mail-in voting but did not cite any evidence or examples of fraud. Instead, she wrote it didn't seem possible that she was trailing Van De Water after outspending him, leading him in the tally of votes that were cast in person, and given that he "was almost completely absent from campaign events" because of his military reserve duty.

Two election commissioners in the 19th District, one from each major party, previously dismissed the notion of fraud associated with GOP votes that were mailed in.

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