Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
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Wilkinson steps down

By Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY — After two and a half years at the helm, Steve Wilkinson is stepping down this Monday as chairman of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee.
Wilkinson confirmed to the Democrat yesterday that a lack of sufficient time led to his decision to resign.
“I am most of the time four days a week in Albany,” he said, referring to his employment as Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther’s legislative director and – as of January – chief of staff.
“Aileen has three committees now, so we’re up to our ears,” he added.
Chairing the county Democratic Party “takes a lot of time and a lot of work,” he acknowledged. “The party and the people need somebody who’s going to be steering the ship full-time.”
Associate Chair Darryl Kaplan, essentially the local party’s second-in-command and husband of Democratic Elections Commissioner Faith Kaplan, has become more and more the point man.
“He’s been picking up all the slack,” noted Wilkinson in appreciation, “and I assume he will be moving into the position of chairman.”
Kaplan confirmed that plan yesterday, per the committee’s bylaws.
“I’m saddened to see Steve go,” the Monticello resident related. “But I’m looking forward to the challenges.”
Kaplan had, in fact, been the expected replacement for outgoing Chairman Jim Greier in 2008, but he chose not to pursue the chairmanship at that point.
Now he’s bringing his nearly 40 years of party membership and involvement (including past stints as Fallsburg’s town supervisor and the Industrial Development Agency Board’s chairman) to this position – in order to find and cultivate competent local politicians.
“Sullivan County needs good leadership,” Kaplan remarked. “It’s a difficult time for America.”

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