Congressman Gibson to speak at Ulster Chamber breakfast - Daily Hudson Valley News

Congressman Gibson to speak at Ulster Chamber breakfast

Jan 24th, 2015 | By | Category: Business News

Newly re-elected U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson will address the membership of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce when he speaks at the Chamber’s first breakfast meeting of the year on Jan. 29.

Gibson, a Kinderhook Republican who was re-elected last November, surprised many by announcing earlier this month that he would retire at the end of his current two-year term and not seek re-election in 2016.

The congressman said he is looking forward to the breakfast, scheduled for 7:30-9 a.m. at the Garden Plaza Hotel, and conversing with Chamber members he has gotten to know during his tenure.

“The Ulster Chamber and your 1,200 members do extraordinary work supporting economic growth and improving the quality of life in our communities—from healthcare to manufacturing to education,” Gibson said. “This is a great opportunity to update you on a few of my top priorities for the 114th Congress.

Gibson said those priorities include lowering energy costs in the Hudson Valley, providing new opportunities for workforce development, fighting Lyme disease, expanding rural broadband, supporting local agriculture and advancing outdoor recreation and cultural tourism.

Gibson said Chamber members will hear about his partnership with U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to fight the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s recent decision to implement a new capacity zone in the Hudson Valley that will raise electric rates.

Another priority for Gibson is seeing that a bill he authored requiring a more aggressive plan to battle Lyme disease is signed into law. The Tick-borne Disease Research Transparency and Accountability Act would require the federal government to consult with a working group of Lyme experts.

Gibson will also update Chamber members on his efforts to improve broadband access in rural areas.

Gibson said travel and tourism, which is a more than $500 million industry in Ulster County, remain high on his priority list.

“We are blessed to live among stunning scenery and fascinating historic sites, from the peaks of the Catskills to the grand estates along the Hudson,” Gibson said. “While I continue to work with local stakeholders to grow interest in our outdoor and cultural resources, I am stepping up my efforts to see that the federal government makes wise investments in this sector of our economy.”

Gibson won a third term in Congress last November. During his first term, Gibson did not represent Ulster County, but reapportionment brought him and the county together for the 2012 election. All of Ulster County is in the 19th Congressional District.

A native of Kinderhook in Columbia County, Gibson served 24 years in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of colonel. He was deployed seven times, including four combat tours in Iraq and separate deployments in Kosovo, Haiti and a counter-drug operation in the southwestern United States.

Gibson was awarded the Purple Heart, four Bronze Stars and many other medals during his tenure.

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