Folk singer endorses Democratic challenger to Rep. Gibson

Folk singer endorses Democratic challenger to Rep. Gibson

MAURY THOMPSON — |  Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 7:54 pm

He may not have much money in his campaign fund, but Democratic congressional candidate Joel Tyner has an asset equally important to getting elected, said legendary folk singer Pete Seeger.

“He’s got persistence, and as Calvin Coolidge said, ‘Persistence is the one thing you need in this world because genius won’t do it,’ ” Seeger said in a telephone interview on Friday, confirming his endorsement of Tyner’s candidacy.

Seeger said he has known Tyner, a political activist, for about 10 or 20 years.

Tyner, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, in November, announced Seeger’s endorsement in a press release earlier on Friday.

Gibson had $702,022 on hand in his campaign fund, as of Dec. 31, the most recent report. Tyner said he had raised about $5,000.

“The world is full of geniuses who have failed, but if you have persistence, sooner or later you’re going to make it. And Joel does have that, and he also is a very sensible guy and will do a lot of good things,” Seeger said.

“On the other hand, you know what (Democratic presidential candidate) Adlai Stevenson said when somebody in 1952 said, ‘Mr. Stevenson, all the intelligent people in the country are on your side,’ ” Seeger asked, going on to answer his own question. “And Stevenson said, ‘I don’t need all the intelligent people. I need a majority.’ “

Tyner, a political activist and substitute school teacher, is serving his fifth term on the Dutchess County Legislature, a government board equivalent to boards of supervisors in other counties.

Prior to getting elected, he ran five unsuccessful political campaigns – three for the county legislature and two for the state Legislature.

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