Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
March 10, 2009 Issue
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Democrat File Photo

REPUBLICAN GEORGE PHILLIPS who is challenging Maurice Hinchey for his 22nd congressional district seat, made an appearance recently at the GOP headquarters in Monticello.

Election Day looms

By Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY — Yes, you will be asked to vote for someone other than President on November 4.
Though this is a comparatively quiet year in local elections, candidates for town, county, state and federal offices are seeking your endorsement. There are also two propositions on the ballot, though one is just for Town of Lumberland voters.
Town of Tusten voters should note that there will be NO vote on the proposed creation of a Department of Public Works. Elections Commissioner Rodney Gaebel said town officials did not submit the necessary documents in time to get the measure on the ballot.
Here’s your choices:
U.S House of Representatives
Incumbent Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey is squaring off against Republican challenger George Phillips to represent the 22nd Congressional District, which includes all of Sullivan County (and a huge swath of New York from Ithaca to Saugerties).
It’s for a two-year term.
NYS Legislature
Democratic Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Republican Senator John Bonacic – both endorsed by local Conservatives – are running unopposed.
Gunther has represented the 98th Assembly District since the death of her husband, the late Assemblyman Jake Gunther. Bonacic has long been the incumbent representative of the 42nd Senatorial District. Both districts include Sullivan County in its entirety, and both positions are for two years.
NYS Supreme Court
Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Anthony Carpinello, a Republican, is seeking to retain his seat in the Third Judicial District, covering the entire Hudson Valley and all of Sullivan County.
He is being challenged by fellow Judge and Democratic candidate Patrick McGrath for the 14-year term.
NYS Proposition
State voters are being asked to affirm or disapprove eliminating the requirement that disabled veterans be receiving disability payments from the U.S. Veterans Administration in order to qualify for additional points on a Civil Service exam.
The proposed amendment to the State Constitution would require disabled veterans to be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs instead.
Sullivan County
The only county-level races aren’t really races at all.
Three incumbent coroners are seeking to retain their positions, sans any challengers. Their names are familiar to many: Republican B. Elton Harris and Democrats Michael Speer and Thomas Warren (all endorsed by local Conservatives). They’ll each serve four years.
Town of Bethel
Perhaps the most hotly contested race in the county is open only to Bethel voters, who will be asked to choose who fills in the year remaining on a town board seat formerly occupied by Supervisor Dan Sturm.
Appointed incumbent Ted Yeomans, having not gained the Democratic nomination, is running on the Let’s Keep Ted line, while Democrat Denise Frangipane is giving him controversial competition. Republican Margaret Hazen is also in the running.
Town of Cochecton
Incumbent Democrat John Reggero is seeking to retain his town board seat (to which he was appointed to replace former Councilman Paul Peck) against Republican challenger Ed Grund.
The winner will serve one year.
Town of Delaware
The retirement of Town Justice Bill Schultz has left a one-year opening for either Democrat Eric Nystrom or Republican Adrienne Ruggieri-Hoffer.
The town board also has an opening for the spot formerly occupied by Councilman Kevin Connors. Republican Cindy Herbert and Democrat Jim Hughson are vying for the four-year seat.
Town of Fallsburg
Incumbent Town Clerk Donna Akerley, appointed to replace former Clerk Pat Haaf, is running for election to the four-year position. The Democrat and Conservative faces no opposition.
Town of Highland
Incumbent Town Justice Anthony LaRuffa – endorsed by Democrats, Republicans and Conservatives – is seeking re-election to another four-year term.
Town of Lumberland
Voters are being asked to approve or reject a defined service awards program (i.e., benefits) for qualified firefighters in the Lumberland Fire Department, at an estimated annual cost of $29,122 for 10 years.

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