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Pulver elected to lead DC Legislature for fifth term

DUTCHESS COUNTY — For the fifth consecutive year, Dutchess County Legislator Gregg Pulver (R-19) of Pine Plains has been elected by his colleagues to lead the Legislature as its chairman. The vote was held at the Legislature’s annual organizational meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 4, during which an overwhelming 18-7 majority placed Pulver back in the chairman’s seat for another one-year term.

Pulver has often spoken of his goal of working across the aisle to get important work done for county residents, focusing especially on those who live in northeastern Dutchess.

“When we come to the Chambers, we come to unite and move our County forward. We will continue to govern together,” he stated after being named chairman. “We don’t pass budgets or bonding authority without a consensus and support from both parties. It’s not the Republican way or the Democrat way — it’s the Dutchess County way. I thank my colleagues for their support and let’s have a great 2022.”

He was nominated by Legislator Michael Polasek (R-3) of LaGrange.

“Gregg is genuine, compassionate and cares very much for his community and the 300,000 people that call Dutchess County home,” said Polasek. “He has demonstrated characteristics of being a servant leader. I am proud to work alongside Gregg and enthusiastically nominate him for chair of this body.”

Pulver, the only working farmer in the Dutchess County Legislature who serves the largest and most rural of the legislative districts, has earned high marks during his tenure as its chairman. For years he has worked closely by County Executive Marc Molinaro’s side.

“Gregg’s vision and leadership have helped this body reach heights never before attained, and his eagerness to work on the behalf of Dutchess County residents is unparalleled,” Molinaro said in a statement released through his office the day of Pulver’s election. “Gregg has been a tremendous partner in governing since first becoming chairman, and I value his insight and years of experience as we continue to guide Dutchess County through this pandemic.”

Pulver even earned the support of one Democratic legislator in his quest for the chairmanship, Randall Johnson of Poughkeepsie.

Legislators serve two-year terms, but leadership positions in the Legislature are only on a one year basis, with elections held during the annual organizational meetings in January.

The Legislature’s Republican caucus elected Legislator Will Truitt (R-7) of Hyde Park to be its majority leader and Deirdre Houston (R-25), who represents portions of Washington, Amenia, Pleasant Valley and the village of Millbrook to be its majority whip.

The Legislature’s Democratic caucus, meanwhile, elected Yvette Valdés Smith (D-16) of Wappingers Falls to be its minority leader and Barrington Atkins (D-10) of Poughkeepsie to be its minority whip and assistant leader.

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