NY Dem Candidate Running Against Special Interests Receives Almost $130,000 From Powerful Lobbying Firm

Antonio Delgado/ Twitter Screenshot
March 12, 2018

Antonio Delgado, one of the leading Democratic candidates running in New York's 19th congressional district, said that he will not be an ally to big corporations and special interests, but his campaign has received tens of thousands of dollars from the top lobbying firm in the United States.

Delgado, who moved to district less than four months before announcing his candidacy, wrote on his campaign website that he will be "an ally to small businesses, workers, and labor unions, not big corporations and special interests." However, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, his current employer and the country's largest lobbying firm by revenue, has donated almost $130,000 to his campaign.

While Delgado is not a lobbyist at the firm, his campaign is being bankrolled by the lobbying arm of the law firm, which represents billion-dollar industries and special interests. His campaign has also received thousands of dollars from Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs and multiple law firms with powerful lobbying arms.

Like several of his Democratic primary opponents, Delgado also moved to the 19th district recently so that he could try to unseat Rep. John Faso (R., N.Y.). Public records show that Delgado and his family purchased a house in Rhinebeck, New York last February and then officially launched his campaign in early June. He previously lived and voted in Montclair, New Jersey.

Prior to working as an attorney in the Akin Gump New York office, Delgado worked as a litigation associate at the law offices of Brian D. Witzer in West Hollywood, California. He was also a hip-hop performer, under the name AD The Voice, and the chief executive of a music production company for four years in Los Angeles.

Delgado received a master’s degree in philosophy and political science from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and received a law degree from Harvard University.

New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Frank Bruni shed light on Delgado's candidacy shortly after he announced last June and said that his academic background is "dazzling," but he said that his connections to Akin Gump and the "high-priced influence and high-stakes lobbying" would be a liability with the district's voters.