On Monday, Zephyr Teachout, the anti-corruption activist who threatened Andrew Cuomo from the left in the 2014 gubernatorial Democratic primary, announced her candidacy for New York’s 19th Congressional District.
Teachout’s hobby-horse is corruption and money in politics (and especially New York politics). This was the platform she ran on in the gubernatorial race—but that was before two of the three most powerful men in the state were convicted on federal corruption charges.
She grew up in Vermont, works in Manhattan and rented an apartment in Brooklyn through last month. But Teachout has also rented a house in the district in Dover Plains, in Dutchess County, since last March, and says she is looking for real estate to buy there. When she challenged Cuomo for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Teachout performed well in the area, based in part on her opposition to natural gas hydrofracking — which Cuomo has since said will not be immediately permitted in New York.
Last year, Teachout toured areas that would have hosted hydrofracking operations with Josh Fox, a documentarian who has questioned the practice. Teachout also spent a lot of time in the Hudson Valley while promoting a book she published in 2014.
Already the National Republican Congressional Committee has called Teachou a “tax-happy Brooklyn resident” whose candidacy would ensure that “this moderate Hudson Valley district will remain in Republican control.”
According to the New York Times, the professor has lived in a rental house in Dutchess County—one of the 11 counties included in the sprawling district—since March. Being from Vermont, she said, gives her a good idea of the “struggles of former agricultural communities.”