By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO September 5, 2003 Former Sullivan County Planning and Community Development Commissioner Alan Sorensen made it official Wednesday.
Sorensen announced that he would indeed seek the 98th Assembly District seat on the Republican ticket.
It is with a great sense of optimism for the future of Sullivan and Orange County residents that I offer myself as a candidate for the New York State Assembly, Sorensen stated in front of Gusars Pharmacy in Monticello Wednesday. I am excited about this race and want the families and small business owners of the 98th Assembly District to know that if you entrust this office to me, I will work as hard on your behalf in the Assembly as I have for Sullivan County.
I firmly believe that the power to improve our communities rests in the ability of public officials to be more than just administrators, Sorensen continued. We must also become proponents for change. If we are willing to think outside the box, take a few chances, and advance bold plans, we can make a difference.
The 98th Assembly District includes all of Sullivan County as well as the towns of Deerpark, Greenville, Wawayanda and Minisink and the cities of Port Jervis and Middletown in Orange County. The seat was occupied by Jake Gunther III until his death in June.
Gunthers widow, Aileen, is running as the Democratic candidate for the unexpired term.
While Sorensen is running on the Republican line, he has no party registration, according to the Board of Elections. The Conservative Party will announce its endorsement after the state meeting on September 11.
Wednesday morning, more than 60 people came out in the drizzle to show their support at the announcement, held in front of Sorensens signature Main Street redevelopment project: Gusars. Later, Sorensen made a similar announcement outside Bradley's Restaurant off Route 6 in Middletown.
This is a good day, commented Sullivan County Republican Party Chair Greg Goldstein. It is a great day for Orange and Sullivan counties. We are sad to lose him on the county level. However, he will be great in Albany. He will work his butt off.
I am so pleased to be here, New York State Republican Party Chair Sandy Treadwell remarked. He is a wonderful candidate. He did a wonderful job as the countys Planning and Community Development Commissioner. This is an exciting opportunity. He will step up to the arena and be successful.
Treadwell announced that New York State Governor George Pataki supports Sorensen. He went on to say that the governor planned to help Sorensen and make an appearance with him during the campaign.
Goldstein then announced that former Assemblyman Dick Coombe would be chairing Sorensens campaign committee.
Any community in Sullivan County can link Alan with jobs, Coombe commented. He is an excellent candidate, and he is prepared. We need him for this seat. It is an honor to be associated with him.
Sorensen resigned from his $92,734 county job last week. Sorensen said he left his six-and-a-half-year job with the county for two reasons: he has formed his own private consulting firm, Planit Mainstreet, Inc. and of course is now running for the state Assembly.
Sorensen was introduced to the crowd by his wife, Jane.
Alan is my best friend, Jane Sorensen said. No one has worked harder to improve peoples lives. No one will work harder. He is honest, sincere, and hard-working. He believes in the area.
I became a public servant because I wanted to help people realize their dreams, Alan Sorensen stated. The foundation that we have laid for progress will continue. Lets work together to define a future in the 98th Assembly District that includes quality jobs, vibrant agriculture, thriving main streets, quality healthcare, distinctive architecture and an unsurpassed quality of life for all our residents.
With his qualifications, he is clearly the best candidate, Howard Mills, the Deputy Minority Leader of the Assembly, stated after the announcement. The leading issue is jobs and economic development. He has a desire to change things. He is not running against anybody. He's running for the Assembly to promote his agenda of job development and economic development in Sullivan County. He is an excellent candidate, and it is an honor to be associated with him.
Sorensen, 38, lives with Jane and their three children in Rock Hill.
Election Day is Tuesday, November, 4.