Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
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Primaries define four local races

By Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY — The unofficial results of Tuesday’s primaries in Sullivan County have put the final pieces in place for what promises to be a busy local general election this November.
The following figures are from the Sullivan County Board of Elections but do not include absentee ballots or write-ins, which will be counted next week.
Thus some of the closer races’ results could change.
Bethel Town Justice
The hottest primary race was actually five separate races for the same seat currently occupied by Bethel Town Justice Howard Block.
And in all five, it preliminarily appears the incumbent has lost.
In the Democratic primary, former town justice Cindy Barber pulled in 180 votes compared to Block’s 109.
In the Working Families primary, Barber also prevailed over Block, though by the slimmest of margins, 2-1.
In the Republican primary, challenger Susan Harte trounced Block 128-35.
In the Conservative primary, she beat him again, 20-6.
And in the Independence primary, Harte garnered 11 votes to Block’s 1.
However, Block is still in the race this November on his own line: Fair and Impartial.
Bethel Town Board
Bethel also had a Democratic primary race for two open town board seats currently held by Bob Blais and Vicky Vassmer-Simpson.
Challenger and former highway superintendent Bernie Cohen surpassed them both, with 175 votes.
Vassmer-Simpson came in second with 162, followed by Blais at 136.
Blais, however, remains in the general election race on the Conservative ticket.
Lumberland Highway Superintendent
Don Hunt Jr. pulled far ahead of challenger James Akt in the bid to win the Republican primary for the open highway superintendency in the Town of Lumberland.
Hunt gained 184 votes compared to Akt’s 71.
Thompson Justice
Incumbent Thompson Town Justice Perry Meltzer appears to have retained his spot on the Democratic line in his bid to keep his seat this November.
Meltzer’s 274 votes exceeded challenger John Kelly’s 194 in Tuesday’s primary, though Kelly will still be on November’s ballot on the Independent Justice Line.
Thompson Democratic Committee
Two primaries were held for the Thompson Democratic Committee.
For two open District Six committeepeople seats held by Honora Wohl and Ron Hiatt, challengers TC Hutchins and Tom Mack appeared to have a firm lead.
Hutchins’ 65 votes and Mack’s 62 far outstripped Wohl’s 30 and Hiatt’s 29.
For two open District Ten committeepeople seats held by Alvin Dumas and Victor Marinello, challengers Gordon Jenkins and Rochelle Massey likewise garnered the top spots.
Massey’s 37 votes and Jenkins’ 34 exceeded Dumas’ 26, while Marinello could not participate due to a lack of sufficient signatures on his petitions.
Tusten Democratic Committee
For two open committeepeople seats on the Tusten Democratic Committee, incumbent Patrick Harrison came out ahead with 35 votes, while fellow incumbent Michael Eurey may have lost his seat with just 19 votes.
Challenger Norman Meyer may have grabbed the second seat with 30 votes, while challenger Kevin Freda came in last with 15 votes.

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