By Matt Youngfrau
SULLIVAN COUNTY March 7, 2003 While village elections have yet to take place (election day is March 18), members of the countys Republican and Democratic parties are already beginning to set the stage for this Novembers General Election.
This year will be a busy one with all nine Legislative spots, the county clerk, county coroner, all 15 town supervisors, and other town positions such as councilman and justice up for grab.
Both the Democrats and the Republicans have begun to take steps to prepare for the races in the past few weeks even though no candidates have been officially announced nor can they file petitions with the Board of Elections to be candidates.
A campaign committee comprised of local Democrats has been established to assist the Sullivan County Legislature candidates. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is being chaired by former District 4 Legislator Jonathan Rouis. Also on the committee are current Democratic Legislators, District 1 Representative Chris Cunningham and District 2 Representative Kathleen LaBuda.
We put together the DLCC to be focused on the November Legislative elections, Rouis remarked.
Rouis has not yet announced if he intends to run for the District 4 seat. He stressed that he was not a candidate at this time.
The party is responsible for all the elections happening this year, he continued. We are not adversarial with the party. We just want to do this more efficiently, just as it is done in other areas. We think it is important to do this. The party has bigger issues to deal with.
The DLCC has hired the Focus Media Group to head fundraising efforts and manage the media campaign. Focus Media is headed by former WSUL DJ Josh Sommers. Sommers has worked on the media campaigns of, among others, Robert Green and Bogner Seitel.
I am looking forward to the opportunity of working with them, Sommers stated.
We felt the need for a more focused approach, Cunningham commented. We discussed it and decided to get professional help and expertise. Then we approached Focus Media.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party is also planning to focus its fundraising efforts. The Executive County Committee recently hired GeoPolitical Strategies (GPS) to do their fundraising. GPS was the company that recently worked with the county on its redistricting plan.
We have a contract with them for fundraising only, Sullivan County Republican Party Chair and District 3 Legislator Greg Goldstein confirmed. They will not be involved in any campaigns.
This will benefit all Sullivan County Republican candidates, added Sullivan County Republican Party Vice-Chair and District 5 Legislator Rodney Gaebel.
Both the Democrats and Republicans stated that this is still very early in the process. No concrete plans or events have been decided upon as of yet. Members advised folks to stay tuned as further developments will be forthcoming.