Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Tuesday's Elections: Some Results
-----In GreeneLand’s most closely fought election battles, two county legislators survived strong challenges in yesterday’s voting while one went down to defeat. -----Forest Cotten, the lone Democrat among Catskill’s four county legislators, campaigning in a field of six candidates, survived with 1038 votes, behind Keith Valentine (1367 votes), Joseph Izzo (1328) and Karen Deyo (1307), but ahead of Linda H. Overbaugh (1003) and Robin DePuy (592). (Those unofficial figures were released at midnight by the county’s board of elections. For updates, click http://greenegovernment.com, then click Departments and then Board of Elections). ---Durham’s Sean Frey survived a tight three-cornered race, gaining a plurality of 385 votes to 353 for Elsie Allen (Republican) and 176 for Les Armstrong (Grass Roots of Durham). Veteran Athens legislator Ray Brooks, however, was out-polled by challenger Chris Pfister, whose 674 votes gave him a winning margin of 57. -----In partisan terms, those results add up to a victory for GreeneLand’s Democrats. They coincide with the unopposed re-elections of three other Democratic legislators-- Larry Gardner of District 7 ( Halcott/Lexington/Hunter), James Van Slyke of New Baltimore, Harry Lennon of Cairo--along with the unopposed re-elections of five Republicans: Charles Martinez and Wayne Speenburgh of Coxsackie, Bill Lawrence of Cairo, Jim Hitchcock of District 6 (Ashland/Jewett/Prattsville/Windham), and Mr Valentine and Ms Karen Deyo of Catskill. In addition, two Republican candidates, Kevin Lewis in Greenville and Mr Izzo in Catskill, won campaigns to succeed retiring Republicans. Numerically, the former Republican majority of nine seats to five has been reduced to 8-6. -----Also heartening for Democrats was Kevin Lennon’s bid to join the Catskill Town Council. In a three-cornered race for two seats, Mr Lennon, with 1354 votes, out-polled both of the Republican incumbents: Robert Antonelli (1043) and Joseph Leggio (1000). -----In other respects, the county’s elections yielded victories for Republicans. In Jewett and in Lexington, Democratic town supervisors were replaced by Republicans. In New Baltimore, while the Democratic candidate, Susan O’Rorke, managed by 14 votes to edge Republican Councilman Arthur (“Property Rights!”) Byas for the office of town supervisor (previously held by Democrat David Louis), the two Democratic candidates for Town Council went down to defeat. In Greenville, moreover, a strong, cohesive Democratic campaign for county legislature, town supervisor and town council seats went down to crushing defeat. ----------[More to come] -----Republican campaigning in Greenville for town offices (as distinct from the county legislature) was waged with explicit reference to the national scene. Peter O’Hara, the Democratic candidate for town supervisor and principal author of a proposed comprehensive plan, was branded in Republican campaign literature as a local copy of a “control”-bent President Barack Obama. “At the national level," according to a mass-mailed Republican tract, the Obama-led Democrats "are pushing for control of business, banks, health care and even what you watch on TV…. At the local level they (Peter O’Hara and friends) are pushing for control of your very basic freedoms of choice with your personal property rights.” Greenville residents, by way of their votes, need to “Take back your country and take back your town.”
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So what does Tuesday's election mean for the Republicans of Greene County?
It means that there is still A LOT of work to do. Slinging accusations back and forth in the newspaper doesn't help, obviously.
Running strong candidates and unifying the party is the message that should have been sent loud and clear to the county committee.
As a Republican, I was very disappointed with some of the actions on the part of other members of our party, and quite fankly, that of the County Chairman.
Instead of unifying the party in Durham, the Republicans there chose, for their own misgivings to instead end up splitting votes and thus losing what could likely have been a win and taken back a seat on the County Legislature.
Instead of crying about the Democraps trying to "take away your vote" they should have been prepared for the type of action Mr. Cotten was capable of. All they had to do was look at his past record of running mud-slinging campaigns.
Bottom line is, the Republicans used to hold a dominant majority on the legislature. I remember when it was 12-2 in favor of the Republicans. Now it's 8-6. Three more years and if the Republican leadership doesn't change it's ways, it'll end up 7-7 and only then 8-6 for the Democraps.
I hope this is a wake up call for the Republican leadership. Problem is, I doubt they'll hear the alarm and will end up hitting the snooze button and sleeping right through the call.
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