TBC Spotlight: Michael Gallagher Wants You To Know He’s Running for NY-13, Too

After seeing last Sunday’s Chronicle Spotlight interview with Clyde Williams, Manhattan resident and political unknown Michael Gallagher emailed The Bronx Chronicle asking for inclusion in future listings of candidates vying to replace Rep. Charles B. Rangel in Congress. Gallagher wrote, “I am a filed and functioning Democratic candidate, one of five who have already announced.” Apparently, other news publications have left him off their list of people vying for NY-13. His campaign website, GallagherforNewYork, is up and running and he has a presence on Twitter (@Gallagher4NY).

Mike Gallagher

Recently, Michael Gallagher spoke with The Bronx Chronicle about his plans.

Michael Gallagher is a native New Yorker and the grandson of immigrants from Ireland and Italy. He was born in Queens but moved to New Jersey as a child. After graduating Harvard, he spent a few years as a bookseller and worked in advertising for J.Walter Thompson and Ayer. Later, Gallagher moved into systems and technical analyst positions at Simon & Schuster and Primedia. Today, he is a married, stay at home Dad raising four children while his wife works in book publishing, where she is the publisher of Avon/William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins.

The Bronx Chronicle: Why are you running for Congress?

Michael Gallagher: “This election is about the future of our district and the issues of jobs, education, housing, and healthcare dominate my thinking.”

TBC:  What makes you different from the other announced candidates? How do you differ from them?

MG: “To begin with, I differ from the other candidates in my recent history which has been as a full-time parent to small children. My wife and I have 3 boys and a daughter for whom I have provided full-time care since my first son was born in 2003. I believe it gives me a perspective on issues of health and child care, education, and everyday life that the other candidates don’t have at this point in their respective lives. I am not a politician and never have been one.”

TBC: Wright, Espaillat, Powell and Perkins are experienced lawmakers and Williams and Johnson claim White House experience. How do you match or better their experiences?

MG: I have been involved with technology and systems since before the introduction of the first personal computer. Many issues in the 21st century revolve around the line between what is private and what the government determines is not private. Some of our privacy is now reduced to digital data passing through commercial communication channels.”

Because Congress is tasked with writing laws governing data and its uses, Gallagher believes that having an understanding of data systems and how they work is a requirement. He says that his long history in computer technology is unmatched by the other candidates. He expressed confidence that, “f elected, I’m confident that I can learn the necessary legislative tasks to effectively represent the district.”

TBC: Presently, you launched an official 2016 campaign committee last April 2015. But you haven’t reported raising any money in the last quarter. Will you be about to make up fundraising ground in time for the June 2016 congressional primary?

MG: “At this point, I have raised about $30K and I will continue to raise money through the June 2016 primary. With the school year again underway, I have time to devote to fundraising that summer did not allow for with my children.” Gallagher conceded that while he wouldn’t raise as much money as some of is rival candidates but “there is more to a political campaign than just the money.” The first-time candidate believes that “ideas, turnout, and personality all affect the result.”

TBC: What are your top three issues and policy priorities?

MG: Believing that the winner of NY-13 will be going to Washington DC as member of the minority party, Gallagher said that any proposals would need to be realistic and of interest to Republicans.

Expanding the Earned Income Credit: “My campaign is based on the belief that relief for middle and working class people is essential for the district and nation as a whole. I believe the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit is something that Republicans will not turn away from.”

Housing Crisis: “Similarly, I believe that alleviating the housing crisis can be done with tax relief for people who rent. The mortgage interest deduction is one of the largest federal tax breaks in the budget and when people say that subsidies can not be given to people who rent, I ask why not? Republicans have constituents who rent, too.”

Statehood for Puerto Rico: “[Given] the current fiscal crisis, I believe the time has come for statehood for Puerto Rico. While it will not be easy to convince Republicans of this, the argument for an adoption of Puerto Rico as the fifty-first state is one I want to vigorously make.”

Funding equity: “Finally, I know that New York residents do not get a fair shake from the federal government in that we get about sixty cents back on every dollar we pay in taxes. Contrast that with Wisconsin–which collects about $1.80 per dollar taxed.  Gallagher asserts an argument once made by the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Saying that New York is in the bottom twenty percent among the states while Wisconsin is in the top twenty percent,  he pledged to work with the New York congressional delegation bring more jobs, grants, and federal dollars back to NY-13.

TBC: Do you have a message for Bronx residents living and voting in NY-13?

MG: Saying he has the same message for all residents living and voting in NY-13, Gallagher said, “[V]oters have a choice in 2016 and if they are satisfied with the way things are in politics, they may choose among those experienced lawmakers to represent them in Congress.”

“If voters want a real change they need to elect someone who is outside the existing dynamics of Albany and Washington. I am ready to represent their interests before Congress and want to be that person.”

The Bronx Chronicle will be following and reporting on developments in the race to succeed Rp. Charles Rangel in NY-13.

This posting has been edited to remove a typographical error. The link to the Gallagher campaign website is appears in the opening paragraph. 

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