Among the Elected ‘Firsts’

Winter 2019

The 2018 midterm elections resulted in a number of firsts for minority and female candidates, including Antonio Delgado ’99 and Mary Gay Scanlon ’80.

Portrait of Antonio Delgado '99

Antonio Delgado ’99

Delgado, a Democrat, became the first African American member of Congress from upstate New York as well as its first Hispanic representative. An attorney from Rhinebeck, Delgado defeated Republican incumbent John Faso in New York’s 19th district.

“I feel very blessed and fortunate to be in this position,” Delgado told WRGB CBS 6 in Albany shortly after Election Day. “It was a long, hard-fought campaign.” Delgado, a Rhodes scholar and Harvard law graduate, discussed issues he supports, including universal health care and gun safety. “[I will do] as much as I possibly can through a lot of hard work, independence, determination, and grit.”

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Scanlon became the first woman in the state’s congressional delegation since 2014. The Democrat was sworn in to an open congressional seat in southeastern Pennsylvania that has been vacant since Republican Pat Meehan resigned last April. Scanlon won a special election to finish the remaining weeks of Meehan’s term in the Delaware County–based seat, and she won a full two-year term in the general election.

Portrait of Mary Gay Scanlon '80

Mary Gay Scanlon ’80

An attorney who earned her JD from the University of Pennsylvania, Scanlon said she will continue to work on issues she’s devoted her career to: human rights and helping children and families. She has been a civil rights lawyer for more than 35 years and most recently served as national pro bono counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP, directing a program that provided legal services to low-income clients and nonprofit organizations. 

Also in election news, Democrat Larry Gardner ’75 ran unopposed for his 14th term and won the bid for county legislator in Greene County, N.Y. A transactional law attorney, Gardner attended Albany Law School.